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03 August 2016

Housing is vital to the future of young people and Welsh language communities

Community Housing Cymru (CHC), the membership body for Welsh housing associations, is hosting a discussion forum at the National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny today (Wednesday 3 August) to focus on making the links between housing, young people and Welsh language communities.

‘Housing our Futures: Keeping Young Voices in the Community’ will include leading advocates from the fields of Welsh language, young people and housing including Sioned Hughes, Chief Executive of Urdd Gobaith Cymru; Ruth Richards, Chief Executive of Dyfodol i’r Iaith; David James, Rural Housing Enabler for Monmouthshire; Christian Webb, Youth Cymru; and Osian Elias, a representative from Ble Ti’n Mynd i Fyw. The forum will be chaired by Rhys Evans, Head of Corporate Services at Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd.

Stuart Ropke, CHC’s Chief Executive said: “Housing is about so much more than providing a roof over people’s heads. It’s the glue that holds a community together. Although the links between housing and health, the economy, education and tackling poverty are all well established, an essential yet lesser known element of the sector’s work is all about sustaining and enhancing Welsh language communities throughout Wales. Today’s discussion forum aims to share and shape ideas around how housing can help to further sustain local communities for young people, particularly where the Welsh language is central.”

David James, Rural Housing Enabler for Monmouthshire, said: “The retention of young people and the development of new housing in Welsh speaking communities is of upmost importance - not just to the community itself, but to the whole of Wales. We cannot afford to allow these communities to decline more than they have already. If we do, we will lose language, history, culture and so much more. I am very grateful for the invitation to participate in this important discussion and I hope my experiences of working with communities in Monmouthshire, and previously in Powys, will help stimulate other communities into action.”

This discussion forum is well timed with Welsh housing associations currently in discussions on the sector’s Welsh Language Standards which will be implemented later this year. Throughout the week at the Eisteddfod, CHC will be asking visitors what a community means to them and how housing can further support and sustain Welsh language communities.