A Welsh council has agreed to levy what it calls “a tax premium” on second homes from now until 2027 to help fund a wider housing programme for its permanent local residents.
Gwynedd Council says 60 per cent of its permanent population has effectively been priced out of the housing market with one in 10 residential properties in the area now designated as second homes.
The premium is in the form of a doubling of council tax, while the authority is also seeking to end a provision where some owners avoid paying council tax at all if their properties are let for 70 days a year.
The council’s aim is to use the additional income, which it estimates will be £22.9m over six years, to top up grants and other funding for a £77m affordable house building programme aimed at local people.
Councillor Craig ab Iago, with responsibility for housing, says: "We know that our young people face a greater challenge than ever to find a suitable home locally … Put simply, it is a crisis and I'm determined to see us delivering a real change.”
The council says it receives between 80 and 90 homelessness submissions each month.
Its new proposals now go for consultation; if approved they are likely to take effect from next summer.