Thousands sign Chartists’ petition calling on Welsh Government to act on housing crisis
“Take urgent action on the housing crisis now!” – that is the call to the Welsh Government from a national group, Siarter Cartrefi.
The group is a partnership of housing campaigners and councillors from across Wales.
They are expecting to raise at least 10,000 signatures over the next month or so on the Senedd Petitions website, in order to trigger a parliamentary debate on the housing crisis.
Spokesperson Cara Wilson said: “We launched at high speed, with 500 signatures a day on our first weekend. This fantastic reaction shows the Senedd how strongly people feel about this crisis. We feel the future of the Nation is at stake, no less.
“People are grieving and in shock. Local people are being priced out of renting or buying in their own communities right across Wales. This is destroying our culture and language”.
The petition goes on: “Simply building more houses is not enough. We are calling for a fundamental rethink of policy to prioritise social, cultural, and economic needs in line with Cymraeg 2050 and the Well-being of Future Generations Act.”
The campaigners hope that a long-awaited statement from the Senedd will include changes in planning for second homes and holiday lets and percentage caps on such homes in areas under pressure from tourism – often areas with low wages and fragile employment.
They also hosted an open online meeting on June 30 for campaigners across Wales to discuss what further steps to take.
“Covid has shown the need for decisive Welsh Government action to deal with a major crisis. Urgent action is needed now to address our housing crisis before local cultures and language are lost and an out of control housing market destroys both urban and rural Welsh communities.”
The petition’s eight demands are:
1. Declare a housing emergency in Wales
2 Create a bill to address housing inequality.
3. Protect our communities; rural and urban.
4. Protect Welsh Language and culture.
5. Reform social housing provision.
6 Urgently address the pressing issue of second home ownership.
7. Reform planning laws to respond to local housing needs.
8. Create a citizens assembly on housing.
All petitions with more than 50 signatures will be discussed by the Petitions Committee, and at 10,000 signatures Petitions will be considered for debate in the Senedd.