Campaigners call for rent controls after affordable housing Crisis in The Vale

A campaigner is calling on the Welsh government to introduce rent controls.

Adam Johannes is a member of The People’s Assembly Wales, which is staging a protest against rising living costs in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council reported receiving around 7,000 affordable housing applications last year.

That’s nearly one thousand more applications than in 2019, while the council backlog on social homes is three times higher than 2015.

The council say the current climate of rising living costs “has led to an increasing number of households being squeezed out of homeownership and the private rented sector.”

However, Mr Johannes believes that even if nothing can be done to stop rising house prices, the government should step in on rent costs.

“We need the Welsh Government to start imposing rent controls and really taking on private landlords and standing up for Tenants,” he said.

People in the Vale of Glamorgan have suffered more than most when it comes to rising house prices.

Between July 2020 and July 2021 house prices rose by 24% – the second-largest increase in the country.

The Vale, along with Monmouthshire, has, proportionately, the highest number of homes valued at more than one million pounds.

Francis Martin, a first-time buyer looking for a home in Cardiff, has been trying to buy a house for over a year and says rising prices are making it difficult.

“What’s the price of the next one going to be? I am coming close to my limit of, I am going to be priced out of the market,” she said.

When I asked to describe her experience of getting on the property ladder, she used the words “excitement, fear, trepidation, hope and complete and utter despair”.