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"This is a local house for local people. We'll have no Iraqi immigrants in here!"

"This is a local house for local people. We'll have no Iraqi immigrants in here!"

BBC NEWS | Locals-only rule stalls house sale – in upshot, a woman in Pennal (near where I grew up) has been stopped from selling her £240k council house to an Iraqi couple from Hampshire, who have already sold their house.

While I have (obviously) every sympathy for local people trying to buy a house in the area they grew up in, why should there be special rules for rural people in small Welsh communities? You don’t (on the whole) get special rules for working-class Londoners who want to buy a house where they grew up, so why should working-class Welsh people be accorded special rights?

Build new houses, restrict those to people on low-incomes, sure. But literally stopping newcomers (especially ones who seem quite keen to learn Cymraeg etc.) when they’ve already sold their other house (so they’re not going to treat it as a holiday home) seems daft at best, wilfully stupid at worse. Bet they wouldn’t apply the rules for a Cardiff couple.

This gets back to the essential same problem that the fox-hunters have – in essence, they want special rules and regulations to enable them to live in a time-warped sepia-tinted time when they could go around doing what they want, while the rest of the urbanised world has moved on. Plus, they want subsidies from the urban world to help them do it – but they don’t want any incomers arriving with strange modern ideas and attitudes.

If you do want to protect Welsh communities, then sell houses at rates local people can afford. Don’t go chasing the English pound or the Yankee dollar. Build more houses for local people. Practice what you preach. Don’t wail as yet another house is sold to a retirement couple and you pocket the proceeds. Oh, and of course, make those communities attractive enough for young people to want to stay in them in the first place.

5 Comments

  • If only Austin would treat its natives
    that way…*sigh*

    StoOpid Californians, cocking up
    the real estate everywhere else.

  • Glad to see you're still concerned about your old stomping ground, but blimey, you do a good job of ignoring facts to get your rant in! This woman bought the house cheaply in the 80s because it was an ex-council house that had a clause in the contract that it be sold on locally (thereby fulfiling the council's resonsibility to ensure afford housing for its residents). I.e., the council subsidised her, only asking that the house would still be sold on locally. She now is complaining that although she didn't pay full the price, she can't sell it on at full price! She can't really complain. Gwynedd tax payers could, if she sold it and effectively pocketed thousands of pounds of their money. The fact that the prospective buyers are Iraqis is irrelevant, althought it does grab the headlines (or get people to read your blog). Your last paragraph seems to be calling for the exact policy that you started the rant complaining about! So I assume you came to a sensible conclusion after thinking things through. And perhaps you yourself know someone who was able to secure a home for him/herself by having a housing association pay for some of it? Would he/she expect to get all the money from a resale?

  • Even the Iraqi bit is a little misleading; she's not Iraqi at all, just married to one. And I think he's lived here for years.

  • Sheff

    Have been beaten to my comment by "Dull" below. Rural Wales is one of the few places in the country where the whole Thatcherite "Right to buy your council house then sell it on 3 years later at a massive profit" scam has at least been moderated slightly.

    She bought the house for buttons subsidised by the Gwynedd council tax payer (that's our parents amongst others!) and is now bleating about not being able to sell it for more than it's current value to someone coming in from South-East Englandshire with the capital to outbid the locals. She would have been aware of the clause at the time she purchased the property.

    Frankly she should GTF and surely the moaning-faced bitch has had enough publicity without you giving her even more?!

  • Saturn

    I think she should make some sort of blood sacrifice to prove how much she wants to sell. Like chop off her own arm with a rusty knife, slowly.

    This will satisfy three criteria: 1: Appease the locals, to whom at this late stage only some sort of symbolic blood-letting will do; 2: Make her think long and hard about matters long and hard; and 3: Awaken me briefly from the stultifying stupor of my everyday existence so that I can enjoy watching a crudely-filmed version of the amputation play badly in Realmedia.

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