I’m about to be homeless as selfish tourists invade Cornwall
A WOMAN says she is about to become homeless and points the finger at tourists snapping up holiday homes.
Jasmin Or, 24, grew up in the beautiful site of St Ives, Cornwall, but is set to find herself with no place to live next month.
Landlords and businesses have bought up properties in the area and converted them into summer homes, meaning there is nothing left for locals to rent.
Jasmin cannot find a new place to rent and her lease is due to end on May 10.
She has exhausted rental agents and spare room sites, and fears that in three weeks she will be sleeping rough.
The hotel employee said, “I wonder if this place will look this good when I’m sleeping on a bench in three weeks.
“There are no more houses.
“Everything has been turned into second homes now and that’s the problem.
“These are all Airbnbs and a lot of locals have been kicked out of their homes to spend the summer.”
Cornwall Council said there was “an imbalance between supply and demand” the county had never seen before.
St Ives MP Derek Thomas said last December around 100 families were vying for every three-bedroom house available in parts of Cornwall.
The housing problem accelerated during the pandemic when “staycations” exploded.
Increased demand for second homes in the seaside town has pushed prices up further, with rents now comparable to those in London.
Jasmin pays £800 rent, not including bills, for a room in a two-bedroom house.
She has no family home to return to and now has to sleep on the streets until she finds a place, although she thinks it will be a miracle as summer approaches.
Renting a property in St Ives through popular accommodation site Airbnb will cost him £150 a night at the moment – or £4,500 a month.
Cornwall Council has provided nearly £170million in Covid-19 grants to holiday rental businesses in Cornwall.
It is estimated that more than half of this money went to people who live outside the county.
Many second home owners are eligible to pay business rates and not council tax, which qualifies for rate relief.
This means owners have been able to affordably manage their properties in St Ives without bringing anything to the area.
Jasmin said: “Locked out, I would go for a walk and look up at night to see just a few houses with lights on in town.
“I was able to see how many are actually holiday homes.
“I’ve seen a lot of my friends struggle with homelessness – friends in my age group who work a lot harder than me.
HOMELESS PALS ‘SOFA SURF’
“They’re all couch surfing, it’s not just me.”
Jasmin urged tourists to consider vacationing elsewhere this summer to give locals a chance to find reasonably priced rental accommodation.
A spokesman for Cornwall Council said: ‘Council is taking a multi-faceted approach to dealing with the housing crisis in the medium term and moving into the future.
“This plan will involve over £300m of potential investment.
“We are working to get the legislative changes we need in Parliament to be able to control the number of second homes.
“And give us the ability to put a council tax surcharge on those homes.”
“The Council has proposed to the government that planning permission is required to convert a house into a second home or holiday rental.
“And the authority should be able to charge double council tax on second homes.
“The lack of decent and affordable housing experienced by residents across Cornwall has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
“There is an imbalance between supply and demand that we have never seen before.
GROWING DEMAND FOR HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATIONS
“Soaring property prices and demand for vacation homes are causing a significant reduction in the supply of rental accommodation.
“It corresponded to a sudden increase in rental costs.
“Private landlords have moved away from long-term rentals and instead gravitated towards the short-term vacation market.”
The council told how it made a number of house purchases to turn them into social housing.
Jasmin has taken to social media to spread the word about what’s going on in St Ives.
Her TikTok video shave has garnered thousands of views and a slew of advice from people across the country on what she can do to avoid sleeping rough.
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