Wales’ Labour-led administration is to announce a three-pronged approach to affordability issues - and it looks likely to involve a clampdown on second homes.
There will be a pilot area in Wales – to be decided over the summer - where these new measures will be trialled and evaluated before being considered for wider rollout.
Other actions, including the work on a registration scheme for all holiday accommodation and a consultation on changes to local taxes to manage the impact of second homes and self-catered accommodation, will also begin over the summer.
The three areas of activity will be:
- addressing affordability and availability of housing;
- enhancing the regulatory framework, covering planning law and the introduction of a statutory registration scheme for holiday accommodation; and
- what the Welsh Government calls “a fairer contribution”, using national and local taxation systems to ensure second home owners make a fair and effective contribution to the communities in which they buy.
No details have been set out as to what those measures will look like when enacted.
Last year, Wales became the only country in the UK to give local authorities the power to charge 100 per cent council tax increase on second homes.
Climate Change minister Julie James, who is responsible for housing, says: “The continuing rise of house prices mean people, especially younger generations, can no longer afford to live in the communities they have grown up in. A high concentration of second homes or holiday lets can have a very detrimental impact on small communities, and in some areas could compromise the Welsh language being spoken at a community level.
“…Our new three-pronged approach will kick-start a summer of action which will determine how we tackle this issue now and into the future. I am calling on all political parties across the Senedd to get involved in this, as we look to empower our communities to exercise their right to live in good quality homes, wherever they are in Wales.”