The Welsh Government is proposing a ‘fair chance scheme’ in areas with high numbers of second homes that could mean sellers must advertise to local Welsh speakers first before selling their property on the open market.
Minister, Jeremy Miles MS says that the move is designed to protect the Welsh Language. Welsh Conservative’s have criticised the move as potentially “promoting discrimination”.
The Minister shared details of the proposed scheme at the recent National Eisteddfod in Tregaron, Ceredigion saying that properties could be marketed locally only, for a fixed period, with the Welsh Government working with organisations such as estate agents to address the housing needs of those communities.
Jeremy Miles said: “For the Welsh language to thrive, we need sustainable communities and good job opportunities in the areas where it is widely spoken.
“Through our Welsh Language Communities Housing Plan, and the Commission for Welsh-speaking Communities we’re announcing today, we and our partners will work together with communities where Welsh is the main language and help them develop plans which protect their identity and our language.
“This isn’t about imposing solutions, so everything we do will be in line with local communities’ aspirations.”
“I’ve said many times that the Cymraeg belongs to us all, as does the responsibility for its future. We’ll have to be brave and tackle things together that might be difficult. I’m sure that some of the things the Commission will tell us will be challenging, but that’s important – that’s what will help us find the most effective answers!”
Welsh Conservatives meanwhile have criticised the move as potentially “promoting discrimination”.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Housing Minister, Janet Finch-Saunders MS said: “This scheme appears to be promoting discrimination against house buyers who do not speak Welsh. This is, of course, completely unacceptable. Immediate clarification on this policy is needed from the Labour Government.
“As a nation of sanctuary, there should be no prejudice against people looking to buy a house in Wales.
“We should not forget that these paltry policy tweaks and voluntary schemes will not address the underlying problem that is the Labour-caused housing crisis.
“There is no escaping the fact that Labour are only delivering half of the homes Wales needs in order to meet demand. This is Labour’s housing crisis and they are failing to deliver for local communities across Wales.”
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