“I have seven jobs but I cannot afford to buy a house in the village where I grew up”
A 24-year-old man who works seven jobs to buy his first home spoke of his “grief” at being kicked out of the community where he grew up.
Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn, of Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd, North Wales, said the village was being taken over by second homes and holiday homes, leaving many young locals unable to buy.
It is understood that people wanting to move to more rural areas or buy desirable vacation homes there are behind the boom – fueled further by the coronavirus pandemic.
This comes as the Welsh government announced its next steps to tackle the impact of second homes on Welsh communities.
The issue was highlighted in a Cooperation agreement between Welsh Labor and Plaid Cymru on Monday.
âEveryone dreams of owning their own home, but a lot of people my age think they just can’t afford it right now,â Elfed told ITV News.
âHouse prices have increased dramatically where I live. I remember decent houses that sold for Â£ 60,000 or even Â£ 50,000 a few years ago. Now – Â£ 110,000, Â£ 120,000 and more.
âA lot of these properties are being swallowed up as second homes or rental properties. And it took that piece of the scale – that little house that we could have afforded, and that other young people in my village could have afforded. there are houses which are within the reach of the youngest, but often they do not reach them on time.
“It’s just building lots or houses that number in the hundreds of thousands that we can’t even imagine buying. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”
Elfed, who has 21-year-old partner Anwen, desperately wants to stay in his local community, but says it’s a dream that currently feels out of reach.
He says he rarely has a day off as he aims to raise enough money to buy a modest property.
âI have two gardening jobs; I clean the village hall; I write for a newspaper; I work for a community business and I also work for a hotel, âhe said.
âIt’s a miracle to have a day off, which is usually spent on the farm fixing things or helping my dad.
“I try everything [to buy], but I can not. As I rack up a little more money, house prices go up like rockets. “
Elfed said the housing problem was previously more of a problem on the Welsh coast, but more recently it has moved more inland – with farms, pubs, chapels and even tiny cottages in ‘workers who are now considered desirable second or vacation homes.
He welcomed the news that the second home situation will be reviewed, describing it as an “emergency”.
He added: “This has to stop – I’ve had enough. It’s now reached the point where it’s just ridiculous.
“The Welsh communities will wither and die – the language will die.
âI want to have children and put them in the neighborhood school; maintain Sunday school and chapels; do concerts in the hall. You know, keep that sense of community that has been held for so long.
“No one wants a dead community. Everyone loses if that community dies.”
On Tuesday, Dwyfor in Gwynedd was named as the location for a new pilot project to improve the availability – and affordability – of housing for locals.
Welsh Climate Change Minister Julie James has confirmed that the program will bring together a range of actions to tackle the impact that a large number of second homes and short-term holiday rentals can have.
Speaking in Senedd, she said: âWe want young people to have a realistic prospect of buying or renting affordable housing in the places where they grew up, so that they can live and work in their local communities. .
âA high number of second homes and holidays in an area can threaten the Welsh language at its heart and affect the sustainability of some rural areas.
âWe are a welcoming nation and tourism is a major part of our economy, creating jobs and income in many parts of Wales. But we don’t want ghost villages in seasonal vacation spots – places where no one is home during the winter months.
âThese are complex problems and there are no quick fixes. What may be right for one community may not work for another. We will have to come up with a series of actions – there is no quick fix here. “