Polperro, Cornwall

Council pledges to tackle Cornwall’s ‘perfect storm’ housing crisis

Council leaders have restated their commitment to helping residents affected by the unprecedented pressure on housing in Cornwall.

Leader of Cornwall Council, Councillor Linda Taylor said:

“It is the top priority for this new administration.

“Things won’t get better overnight, but we are acting swiftly and doing everything in our power to deal with both the immediate issues and implement the more ambitious long-term plan Cornwall needs to provide decent, affordable housing for our residents.”

Action includes

  • Providing hundreds of temporary and emergency accommodation places so local people can be housed without worrying about being asked to leave at a moment’s notice.
  • Buying existing homes to use as social housing.
  • Building more council houses, as well as affordable homes, for local people to rent or buy.
  • Unlocking the potential for town centres to be regenerated to provide more housing.
  • Offering loans to bring empty homes back into use.
  • Working with the government to maximise council tax income from second homeowners that declare themselves as holiday lets.
  • Enabling communities to stop new builds being snapped up by would be second homeowners.

Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning, Councillor Olly Monk added:

“The lack of decent affordable housing that residents are experiencing all over Cornwall has been brought to a head in the aftermath of the pandemic. There is an imbalance in supply and demand that we have never seen before.”

“We understand the frustrations of residents who are caught up in this and we’re doing all in our power to tackle it.

“The Covid pandemic has brought about extraordinary circumstances and pressures. More people continue to need emergency accommodation, which has been in increasingly short supply as hotels and B&Bs have been booked up for the summer holiday season.

“In addition, the boom in house prices and the demand for holiday accommodation is causing a significant and sudden reduction in the availability of homes to rent and a matched sudden escalation in rental costs.

“Private landlords have been moving away from long-term letting and instead moving towards the short-term holiday market, as Covid travel restrictions has increased the demand from visitors looking for a staycation in places like Cornwall.

“These factors, together with the shift to working from home, which means that people can work from anywhere in the country, is seeing more people move to areas like Cornwall and so has put unprecedented pressure on the amount of open market housing available to buy.”

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