Duty to provide sites for Gypsy communities proposed in Wales

Welsh councils would have to provide sites for Gypsy and traveller communities 'where a need has been identified' under new legislation on housing, published yesterday.

Welsh housing minister Carl Sargeant
Welsh housing minister Carl Sargeant

The provision is included in the new Welsh Housing Bill which also gives local authorities the power to introduce an increased rate of council tax on long-term empty homes.

Wales' housing minister Carl Sargeant said: "The Welsh government is determined to make a positive difference to people’s lives and to do all it can to meet housing need.

"This bill is very welcome as it will make a significant contribution to this government’s priority of delivering more homes, better homes and better services across Wales."

The bill is part of a suite of legislation in Wales on the built and natural environment. A white paper on the environment was published in October, while a Planning Bill is due before the end of the year.

A spokesman for the Welsh government said the bill is expected to have passed through the legislative process by next spring/summer.

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