Campaigners calling for stricter measures against second homes have held a protest outside the headquarters of Gwynedd Council today.

The 'Hawl i Fyw Adra' (right to live at home) campaign wants the local authority to take urgent action to resolve the housing crisis which the protestors argue is "killing" their communities. 

Gwynedd Council figures state that 60% of residents are currently priced out of the housing market with around 11% of the county’s entire stock being used as second homes.

The protestors began marching from the National Welsh Language and Heritage Centre in Nant Gwrtheyrn this morning. It was a year on from their previous march from Nefyn.

At the beginning of the march, a spokesperson said: "We're starting this march in a fog and our communities are in a fog. 

"There is great uncertainty about the ability of our communities to continue to live. They are in danger. And neither the government nor the council are taking the issue seriously. 

READ MORE: How can the second homes crisis in Wales be fixed?

"A year has passed since we last walked to Caernarfon in protest. What have they been doing? They've been in a siesta for a whole year. 

"But they must get to grips with this and we have to wake them up."

The group had reached the Gwynedd Council offices in Caernarfon by 3pm, a journey of more than 15 miles. 

Musicians Elidyr Glyn and Gwilym Bowen Rhys led the protestors in a rendition of the song 'Safwn yn y Bwlch', which was origianally recorded by legendary Welsh language group, Hogia'r Wyddfa. 

The Plaid Cymru Dwyfor and Meirionnydd MP, Liz Saville-Roberts addressed the crowd in Caernarfon and urged the protestors to hold political leaders to account: "The open housing market is taking our futures away from us. It's taking the hope away from our young people and taking the hope away from our communities."

"It's not just that young people are forced to move away. But that our essential workers who run our essential services are unable to afford to live in our communities."

READ MORE: Cornish housing crisis recalls deep links with Wales

In July, the leader of Gwynedd Council, Dyfrig Siencyn, urged the Welsh Government to immediately close a tax “loophole” and directly intervene after describing promises to take action over a second homes crisis as “vague.”

Last month, the Welsh Government published a consultation considering a range of solutions to the housing crisis, including possible changes to local taxes to support local authorities in managing the impact of second homes and self-catered accommodation in their areas.

However, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, the Welsh Language Society, said the consultation document was "merely seeking views on open-ended questions, instead of setting out the clear, decisive and radical steps needed".

The open consultation closes on 17 November 2021.

Additional reporting from Gareth Williams, Local Democracy Reporter. 

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