Homes for locals?

A cash injection is going towards building 1,000 new homes across Cornwall. The Council’s Cabinet has agreed on a new Housing Development Plan to deliver more homes for people in the Duchy. The authority will invest up to £170 million in directly building 1,000 new homes on sites across the county. The developments will be a mix of homes for private market rental with 35% for affordable rent or shared ownership, 15% sold on the private market and 50% available for private market rental.

A new company, wholly owned by the Council, will be set up to buy, let and manage the properties. Bosses say the income generated from the private sales and rentals will subsidise the affordable homes so there is no cost to the Council over the life of the business plan. Two pilot sites are already being built in Bodmin and Tolvaddon, which between them will see the delivery of 113 homes. Both sites will have properties to rent or to buy.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes Andrew Mitchell said: “We will deliver a mix of property sizes, types and tenures to meet local needs.
“Some will be for private rent, providing quality, choice and greater security for those in the private rented sector with five-year tenancies as standard. “Some will be sold at market prices and others will be for affordable rent or shared ownership. “These are homes for local people, with a genuine housing need. Consideration will be given to people who live or work locally.

In one sense this policy represents an admission of failure. House building policy not just in Cornwall but across the UK has been predicated on the private sector bringing forward housing including an ‘affordable’ element. But this has failed to provide housing for residents in need of affordable housing. At the same time the private rented sector often fails to provide suitable housing.


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