The ‘West Briton’ had a startling report in various editions across Cornwall this week. It said:
A new report providing a healthcheck for Cornwall shows there are almost 29,000 homes sitting empty across the county – 11.2% of the entire housing stock. The national average for vacant properties is just 4.3% but the reports show that in some parts of Cornwall there are up to 30% of homes unoccupied. The figures do not include second and holiday homes.
Now there are a couple of points to make here –
The data is actually old census data from 2011. It actually refers to the number of houses where there was no usual resident. Aficionados of this site will realise that this category in the census includes three groups:
Holiday lets; and
Contrary to the news report the number does therefore include second and holiday homes!
Now the question is are these homes empty?
In a technical sense they are not. Empty homes are usually considered to be those dwellings which are not in any form of use for whatever reason.
Yet in another sense they are not available to be used as homes for residents.
The ‘West Briton’ would have made more of a point if they had asked why so many dwellings are not used for residential purposes for the local population!