A Plaid Cymru MS has called for action as newly released data shows that the number of households on social housing waiting list in Powys has increased by over 100 per cent since 2018.
Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales has expressed concerns amid newly released data showing that there are currently 4,304 households on a waiting list in Powys – an increase from 2,136 in 2018.
The figures were revealed last week following a BBC Freedom Information request alongside information released by Shelter Cymru.
The data equates to an increase of 101.5 per cent in the number of households in Powys waiting for social housing – compared with a Welsh average of the period of 36.3 per cent. This leaves Powys fourt in the table of Welsh local authorities who have seen the highest growth in demand since 2018.
Neighbouring Ceredigion had seen a 19.1 per cent increase in the number of households waiting for social housing within the county – increasing from 1,433 to 1,707. Meanwhile in Carmarthenshire, the number of households waiting had dropped by over a tenth (11.9 per cent), however 3,979 households were still waiting.
Reacting to the news, Cefin Campbell MS labelled the situation a “crisis” has said “much more” needs to be done to address the growing waiting lists.
Mr Campbell said: “Sadly, the drastic increase in demand for social housing from pre-pandemic levels comes as little surprise – and my inbox is regularly inundated with constituents from across Powys and mid Wales as a whole expressing grave concerns over inability to find appropriate social housing.
“Many of these households are already facing grave circumstances – from long waits to mental health stress, to impending homelessness.”
Mr Campbell also raised the topic of second home ownership across the county and how it shows the “gross inequalities” of society when stacked up against social housing waiting lists.
Recent data announced by the Bevan Foundation last month that found Powys had 1,978 properties listed on the holiday rental website, AirBnB.
“The fact that so many are on a waiting list for a home in Powys – a county where so many of the housing stock is second homes – truly reflects the gross inequalities in our society,” said Mr Campbell.
“Much more needs to be done to address this growing housing crisis – including building more social housing locally, in accordance with community need.”