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Welsh language campaigners urge MS to ‘realise her rhetoric’ by introducing a Property Act

15 Mar 2024 3 minute read

A ‘Nid yw Cymru ar Werth’ [Wales is not for Sale] banner at a Bangor rally
Welsh language campaigners have called on Julie James MS, the Minister for Climate Change who holds the portfolio for housing to “realise her rhetoric” by introducing a Property Act.

In her statement in the Debating Chamber of the Senedd on Tuesday (12 March) on second homes and affordability, Julie James referred to the impact of the open housing market in her own village, fearing that her own children would not be able to afford to live there and that it would soon become a “ghost town”.

“Dysfunctional”

While discussing the housing crisis and the interventions in the open housing market that have already been implemented, the Minister said: “This is about trying to engineer backwards a sustainable community that’s been driven away by an unfettered investment market in property, because the UK has a very dysfunctional property market; we regard our homes as investments, which is mad, really.

“And it drives a set of behaviours that are not conducive to sustainable economies.”

Julie James in Aberavon. Picture by the Welsh Government.

She also said that all but two local authorities have introduced or are about to introduce council tax premiums on second homes, holiday accommodation or empty homes, and that plans by several planning authorities to introduce Article 4 Directive policies are “groundbreaking.”

“Harmful”

In response, Jeff Smith, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Sustainable Communities Group said: “It is clear from the Minister’s rhetoric that she understands the root of the housing crisis facing our communities: an unregulated housing market. She also has first-hand experience of its harmful effects.

“The solution, to ensure that houses are treated primarily as homes and that people can continue to live in their communities is to transform the housing market through legislation – a Property Act.

“Wales does not have to follow the same path as the rest of the United Kingdom in this policy area, which is clearly not working.

“This is why we are calling on the Minister, or her successor, to realise her rhetoric and introduce a Property Act that would get to the root of the housing crisis which she has identified.”

Cymdeithas yr Iaith will be holding a ‘Wales Not For Sale’ rally in Blaenau Ffestiniog on 4 May. Everyone present will be invited to sign a “Property Act – Nothing Less” statement.

Jeff Smith added: “The Government sees and understands the problem, but to ensure action we are calling on people from all parts of Wales to come to Blaenau Ffestiniog to raise their voice for our communities and demand nothing less than a Property Act.


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Nigel
Nigel
26 days ago

I blame second home owners for global warming.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

Julie James MS, there’s an old saying you should take heed. Actions speak louder than words. #Cymraeg 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

PS. Obviously I’ve hit a raw nerve with some. How naive of me to think Welsh Labour’s Julie James MS who promised to realise her rhetoric by implementing a Property Act, doesn’t, and they shoot the messenger not the bearer. #Irony

JNRM
JNRM
26 days ago

So Jeff Smith, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Sustainable Communities Group said: “It is clear from the Minister’s rhetoric that she understands the root of the housing crisis facing our communities: an unregulated housing market” Utter rubbish! The root-cause is Inward Migration as stated in.the Swansea Uni report commissioned by the Welsh Government, plus of course limited employment opportunities meaning some locals can’t get a mortgage. I would add that the Wales not for Sale rally in Blaenau Ffestiniog should be informed that there are currently 67 properties for sale at under £150K within a radius of 3 miles of… Read more »

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
26 days ago

A property act that includes a property tax is a good idea for second homes and holiday lets. So too a limit on the number of homes allowed to be bought as second homes and a limit on the number of people outside Wales allowed to buy properties in Wales.
Tourists can stick to caravan parks and hotels and B&B’s.

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
25 days ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

Wales is a welcoming country part of a global growing world.

Howard Dare
Howard Dare
25 days ago

I blame second home owners for employment in thriving seaside towns. Surely it would be more true to the Welsh ethos to have everyone on benefits.

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