Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid and West Wales Cefin Campbell, has expressed concerns as newly released data shows that the number of households on the social housing waiting list in Pembrokeshire has increased by almost 50% since 2018.
Data unveiled this week via a BBC Freedom Information request alongside Shelter Cymru shows that there are currently 5,567 households on the waiting list in Pembrokeshire – an increase from 3,767 in 2018.
This equates to an increase of 47.8% in the number of households in Pembrokeshire waiting for social housing – compared with a Welsh average of the period of 36.3%.
Neighbouring Ceredigion had seen a 19.1% increase in the number of households waiting for social housing within the county – increasing from 1,433 to 1,707.
Meanwhile in Carmarthenshire, the number of households waiting dropped by over a tenth (11.9%), however 3,979 households were still waiting.
These figures coincide with recent figures that suggest around 9% of the Pembrokeshire housing stock is second homes - with 4,072 second homes being charged a council tax premium in 2021-22.
Data announced by the Bevan Foundation last month also found Pemborkeshire had 3,172 properties listed on the holiday rental website, AirBnB.
Reacting to these figures, Mr Campbell said: “Sadly, the drastic increase in demand for social housing from pre-pandemic levels comes as little surprise – and my inbox is regularly inundated with constituents from across Pembrokeshire and west Wales as a whole expressing grave concerns over inability to find appropriate social housing.
“Many of these households are already facing grave circumstances – from long waits to mental health stress, to impending homelessness.
“The fact that so many are on a waiting list for a home in Pembrokeshire - a county where almost a tenth of the housing stock is second homes - truly reflects the gross inequalities in our society.
“Much more needs to be done to address this growing housing crisis within our rural communities, including building more social housing locally, in accordance with community need.”