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NDM7386 - Opposition Debate

Tabled on 16/09/2020 For debate on 23/09/2020

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Recognises the housing crisis in many of Wales’s communities and specifically recognises the detrimental impact of unsustainable levels of second homes in depriving the ability of local people to access homes in those communities.

2. Welcomes the steps some local authorities have taken as a result of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 to introduce council tax premiums on second homes as one behaviour changing method around the use of second homes and to facilitate the introduction of measures to meet the local need for housing, but agrees that renewed intervention and leadership is now required at a national level.

3.  Calls on the Welsh Government to act immediately in developing and introducing a package of measures which would include but would not be limited to:

a) using the planning system to control the ability to change the use of a residential dwelling from a sole or main residence to a second home;

b) enabling the introduction of a cap on the proportion of the overall housing stock in a community which may be used as second homes in communities where the concentration of second homes is already unsustainable; 

c) modernising legislation which currently means that not a penny of council tax must be paid on some second homes; 

d) doubling the council tax premium which may be charged on second homes to at least 200 per cent to reinforce work already taking place in some local authorities in seeking to change behaviour around the use of second homes, generate revenue to be invested in social housing and to compensate communities for the detrimental impact of an overuse of second homes on local communities and local services; 

e) doubling the higher rates of land transaction tax for an initial period of six months in an attempt to prevent house prices from spiralling further beyond the reach of the local population and first time buyers in many communities; 

f) taking positive steps to promote access to housing at a price which is within the reach of the local market, including the possibility of encouraging the development of homes which have local market clauses attached; 

g)  encouraging and prioritising the purchase of empty homes by local authorities and housing associations in order to meet the local need for social housing; and

h) looking afresh at what constitutes an affordable home.

Housing (Wales) Act 2014



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