Ceredigion Council calls on Welsh government to tackle the housing crisis

Houses in Ceredigion Wales

On 17 June, Welsh housing campaigners got some political support for their growing movement. Because a Ceredigion County Council meeting unanimously voted for calling on the Welsh government to deal with the housing crisis.

The successful motion

Councillor Mark Strong brought forward the motion, which calls on the government to:

  1. add a new clause to the Planning Act so that it is compulsory to make a planning application before obtaining the right to convert a residential home into a holiday home or a holiday let;

2. adapt the policy framework to allow for maximum thresholds to be set with regard to the number of holiday homes in a given area;

3. make it compulsory for second-home owners to ask for planning permission before turning a second home into a holiday business or an AirBnB business.

Housing campaign

As reported by The Canary, holiday and second home purchases in Wales are damaging local communities. People across Wales are finding it difficult to buy a home their own respective communities.

Campaigners say this is a result of neoliberal housing policy by successive Welsh and UK governments. On 10 July, Welsh language activist group Cymdeithas yr Iaith is asking people to form a ‘human dam’ across the Tryweryn dam near Bala. This ‘dam’ is symbolic of the number of people calling on the Welsh government to take action.

That government action would then:

Read on...

stop this happening to any more communities in Wales

More welcome news

This passed motion follows Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford’s announcement on 6 June that he intends to tackle the housing crisis. Drakeford said he:

expects the Cabinet to have a paper before the end of this month drawing together all those ideas and giving us some practical proposals to consider

Speaking on behalf of Welsh language and community activist group Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s, Jeff Smith said:

The housing crisis is a huge problem in Ceredigion and it is good to see that the Council is planning to take action. The Council leader, Ellen ap Gwynn, made it clear at the meeting that this issue needs to be acted upon – this kind of political will by the Council is undoubtedly to be welcomed.

The crisis is a national problem. As part of our ‘Mwy Na Miliwn’, (‘More than a million’) policy vision for this Senedd term, we propose a package of policies that should be implemented in order to solve the current crisis.

As well as implementing the Council’s calls, the Government also needs to cap the percentage of second homes in any given community, control rent prices so they are affordable for people on local incomes and introduce a super-tax for landlords which would go towards investing in bringing empty homes and second homes back to community use. A Property Act should also be introduced that will give communities control over the housing market and secure a local home for all.

Strong said:

I expect Mark Drakeford to listen very carefully to us today and to act on what we are saying… It is important that young people are able to have a stable home of their own. I’m sure most of us here live in a stable home, and that most, if not all, of us own our own house, but thousands of people are now suffering the risk of permanently not being able to buy a house because of such unfair competition coming from very wealthy people who can buy a second or third house.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons – rbennett661

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us