PLAID Cymru has trashed the Welsh Government's plans to tackle the housing crisis, saying that measures announced last week are 'weak' and 'kick the problem into the long grass'.

As reported in last week's Western Telegraph, minister for climate change, Julie James, who also has responsibility for housing visited St Davids to announce a three-pronged approach to tackling the housing crisis.

This, she said, kicked off a 'summer of action' which would address affordability and availability, look at a regulatory framework and system covering planning law and mandatory holiday accommodation registration and ensure that second home owners make a fair and effective contribution to the communities in which they buy.

However, Plaid Cymru's housing spokesperson Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, said that the action was not timely or strong enough.

"This so-called 'ambitious approach' to tackle the second homes housing crisis is an exercise in kicking the problem into the long grass without taking the necessary urgent action to deal with the crisis facing our communities," he said.

He added that the 'weak measures' were not enough to get to grips with the crisis 'fast engulfing' Welsh communities.

"There is nothing here about closing the council tax loophole. There is nothing here about imposing caps on second homes. And there is nothing here about bringing numbers of holiday homes into community ownership through public intervention - diverting profits to local developments such as the provision of social housing. In fact, there is no detail just vague plans for more consultation," he said.

"What our communities need is urgent action before it's too late - not painfully long-drawn out consultations or half-hearted trials."

He said that Plaid Cymru demanded direct interventions to mitigate the housing crisis, such as changes to planning laws to allow councils to impose a cap on the number of second homes, trebling the land transaction tax on purchases of second homes and closing the loophole that allows second homeowners to register their property as businesses in order to avoid paying the council tax premium and amending the Local Government Act to empower local authorities to better control the housing stock.

"The housing crisis facing Wales is not confined to a few isolated far away communities. It has a knock-on effect in every community the length and breadth of our nation," he said.

"The Labour Government owes it to the people in these communities to address the crisis with the seriousness and urgency it deserves - ensuring they can live and work in the area they call home."