As pressure mounts on the issue of second homes, questions of gentrification in our capital city are being ignored.

With the rise in traction of campaigns by pressure groups such as Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, there is a lot of hope for a solution that works for Wales and rural native Welsh language communities.

However, with that comes the ongoing erasure of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people and communities in Wales.

It is impressive how many can come out with opinions on the topic of the housing crisis in Wales, but refuse to discuss gentrification or its disproportionate impact on Black, Asian and minority ethnic people and communities in Wales. Policy makers and campaigners need to challenge these issues, why are some communities forgotten about, and what motivates that?

There is a growing parasitic relationship between these campaigns and the gentrification of our cities, with Black, Asian and minority ethnic people and communities in Wales paying the price.

To analyse this from an outsider viewpoint, you should ask: what type of relationship does the Welsh language speaking middle class share with areas like Canton, Pontcanna and Grangetown compared to working class Welsh language communities in Gwynedd and Ynys Môn?

Issues that drive rural gentrification also drive urban gentrification. The idea that communities are replaceable, swappable, that people do not deserve to have opportunities to live in the area that they have called home for years, sometimes even generations.

We have seen and heard the stories from people moving from rural Wales to urban areas but we never hear from the communities this movement of people pushes out, due to the rise in demand for that area.

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Not only do I believe that housing is a basic right, but also that people should be able to live where they wish, including their home community.

How would Cymdeithas answer to the relationship that the Welsh language has to and with gentrification in certain parts of Cardiff?

At the last Nid yw Cymru am Werth protest, there were more Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the promotional graphics than there were speakers at the demonstration.

This is what tokenism looks like, these manufactured situations where diversity washing and looking diverse is more important than being diverse as a movement. Our communities know and with this tokenism, soon follows erasure from the discourse.

If language and race is not linked to class, why did it take active gentrification of areas like Pontcanna, and Canton, which are predominantly white, before the need for a Welsh medium school was tackled?

Now we have Ysgol Hamadryad, which serves Wales' most BAME areas, fast becoming the most gentrified. This is blatant racism which connects directly to the rural push for a solution to the second homes crisis.

READ MORE: Could empty homes solve our housing crisis?

Cardiff is home to the oldest continuous black community in Britain yet when the issue of gentrification is brought up, we are told that we must be anti-Welsh language? Strange conclusion considering up until recently, many did not have the opportunity to be educated through the medium due to a postcode lottery and even now there are issues in Cardiff of lack of spaces in Welsh medium schools.

What can we do? Well for a start, we need to be listening to those communities who are suffering with gentrification. Most are not even being invited to the Senedd, which ironically is built in a heavily gentrified area.

It is up to the campaigners, campaign groups and policy makers to meet us on our own turf. We also have to come to terms with the fact that gentrification is not only happening in Cardiff but across the rest of Wales. These need to be local conversions on a national level.

Finally, those who are campaigning on the issue of second homes in rural areas need to ensure that gentrification is not just an addendum to appease "angry BAME women” as we are often called.

It is our local issue that they have often contributed to and you cannot fix one without fixing the other, else the parasitic relationship continues.


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