An Aberllefenni woman continues to sit on a bench for hours a day in protest over rising rent costs on her home.

Sara Lewis, 55, said her rent has increased from £435 to £550 after her new landlord bought the property and 15 others in the village. Walsh Investment Properties say the original amount set by a previous landlord was “not sustainable”.

Sara, who has a lung condition, has been joined by Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS Mabon ap Gwynfor.

Commenting on Sara’s plight, he said: “Sara is at the very tip of the housing crisis facing our communities.­

“We have seen rents rise more in Wales than any other part of the UK except for London, and it’s completely unsustainable.

“In this instance it seems that rents have been inflated over the last few years and the new landlords for Sara’s house have decided to increase her rent - and others - in-line with inflation busting rises that we’ve seen in the area.

“Sara is also very vulnerable and suffers from a chronic illness, and is dependant on the assistance of the state. Sadly, it’s vulnerable people with low income who suffer as a consequence of the greed of others.

“Sara is from Aberllefenni and she has raised her family in that house. It’s her home. It is not right that wealthy individuals can raise rents to such a level, putting tenants at threat of homelessness and profiting off the back of others.

“This is why we need a form of rent stabilisation in Wales. I have called for this many times in the Senedd, and at last the Welsh Government is preparing a Green Paper on this, but it won’t come soon enough for the thousands of people threatened with homelessness today.

“On top of this the Conservative Government in Westminster have refused to lift the cap on the Local Housing Allowance - the housing benefit payment that should cover rents in the private sector.

“It’s capped at £300, and research by the Bevan Foundation has shown that there were only 32 properties available throughout the whole of Wales for that price in February of this year.

“The complete failure of the UK Government to look after our most vulnerable people coupled with the greed of some landlords is part of the reason why we are seeing so many people living in temporary accommodation or sofa-surfing. It’s completely immoral.

“Both Liz Saville Roberts MP and myself have written to Michael Gove, the minister in charge of this, and I have written to the landlords asking for a meeting to discuss the issue.”

He added: “We all have a right to a roof above our heads. Aberllefenni is Sara’s home, it’s part of her identity. I am absolutely appalled at the situation. A house should be a home not a capital asset to profit from. She should not be denied the right to live in her home community because of greed and the State’s failure to support her and those in a similar position to her.

“We need to see action now, before Sara and others and themselves homeless through no fault of their own.”