It is essential that Welsh speakers are prioritised to access social housing in Welsh speaking communities – that is one of Dyfodol i’r Iaith’s calls in its response to the Welsh-speaking Communities Commission’s consultation.
Among fifty other suggestions, Dyfodol i’r Iaith calls to ensure that all future housing developments be based on local need only instead of the Office for National Statistics’ projected population growth.
Another call is the need to designate Welsh speaking communities as Areas of Special Lingusitic Significance (‘ASLS’) and to strengthen the process for considering the effects on the Welsh language within the Planning system in the same way as for environmental and conservation matters. The process should also include capping the total numbers of second homes in all communities and monitoring the actual linguistic effects of approved planning applications for residential, leisure and economic developments.
Dylan Bryn Roberts, Chief Executive of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, commented “Perhaps this is the last chance we have to ensure the continuation of our Welsh-speaking communities. They are under existential threat from inward and outward migration.
“In addition to the policy points above, economic conditions need to be created that will keep and attract local people to work in the Welsh-speaking areas.
“We are looking forward to seeing the Commission’s suggestions in due course, and to seeing the Government take steps that will safeguard the continued use of Welsh in all aspects of life in Welsh-speaking communities. Without intervention, all these communities will disappear forever.”