Tens of Thousands Sign Petition to End Cornwall Second Home ‘Threat’

A petition calling on Cornwall Council and the government to levy a higher tax on second homes “to save Cornwall’s precious coastal communities” has been signed by more than 40,000 people.

Worries about second home ownership that push residents out of the areas they grew up in and cause a roaming problem have long been an issue, but the relatively new phenomenon of Airbnb has put it in the spotlight. evidence.

A recent report from The Guardian found that Cornwall currently has over 10,290 active Airbnb listings and, by comparison, as of June 3, there were only 69 rental properties available for people to rent short or long term on. Rightmove.

Read more: Cornwall homeless people evacuated from hotels to make way for tourists

In most of Cornwall’s popular towns and villages, including Newquay, St Ives, Penzance and Bude, there were over 300 active listings for each on Airbnb – the highest number visible on the site.

Fowey had 157 active Airbnb listings, Perranporth had 207, and Looe had 257. Neither town had rental properties available at the start of June.

These statistics have raised fears that landlords will hunt tenants in favor of vacationers, which would further exacerbate the housing shortage.

Olly Monk, a member of the Cornwall Housing Council Cabinet, told CornwallLive earlier this month the housing situation was in “crisis” and the council needed to find solutions as quickly as possible.

He was speaking after it was revealed that around 130 homeless people have been told to leave hotels to make way for paying customers.

The promise of a busy summer season, the G7 summit, a busy holiday weekend and a semester all meant that the hotel and guest house owners who had provided temporary and emergency accommodation to the homeless people and families wanted to welcome paying customers again.

A petition has now been launched to “cap local rents, raise the tax on second homes and save Cornwall’s precious coastal communities. Cornwall is dangerously on the brink of a homelessness crisis and Cornwall Council must act NOW “.

Abigail Harding created the petition, which nearly hit her goal of 50,000 in a matter of days. It is sent to Conservative Cornwall Council Leader Linda Taylor, Eddie Hughes, Under Secretary of State at the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Christopher Pincher, Minister of Housing.

He says: “We are fed up with second home ownership overstating the prices of locals, leaving local homes empty and stripping communities of their hearts and souls. The latest second home real estate frenzy in the county is the water drop.

“It has seen an unprecedented 15% increase in local housing prices since April of last year, which, in addition to placing them well beyond the reach of local buyers, is now starting to severely affect the private rental market,” leaving local families with nowhere to go. to go.

“Cornwall currently has over 10,290 active Airbnb listings, but by comparison, the Rightmove housing website only had 62 properties available for private rental across the county on Friday night (The Guardian, May 30, 2021).

“This is a homeless crisis waiting to happen and Linda Taylor must act NOW.

“So far this year, 44% of home buyers have come from outside Cornwall, the highest level since at least 2012.

“To add insult to injury, around £ 133million of Cornwall’s Covid aid has now been distributed to second / holiday home owners since the first foreclosure with around half of people receiving this money saved with addresses outside of Cornwall This is totally unacceptable.

“We demand that Linda Taylor and the new Cornwall Conservative Council show their renewed commitment to the people of Cornwall by taking swift and decisive action to:

  • Collect a higher and stricter tax on second homes that recognizes the threat they pose to local communities.
  • Close the loophole that allows them to be classified as “businesses,” allowing them to tap into locally allocated funds and, in some cases, to avoid paying housing tax altogether.
  • Work quickly on firm strategies to cap local rents based on local income so local families don’t end up homeless.
  • Use the funds accumulated by properly taxing second homes in building FIRST and ONLY affordable homes for local families.

Please sign and share this petition to save Cornwall’s precious coastal communities! ”

You sign the petition here.

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