Here in Cornwall we have 23,000 people on the Homechoice register looking for properties to rent. Our current Cornwall Housing stock is approximately 10,700 homes.
These figures highlight the scale of the problem, which can only be exacerbated by the large discounts which will be offered, under the terms of the Localism Bill, to encourage people to buy their homes.
The government promises that for each house sold one will be built, however they don’t promise that it will be built in the same area or even the same county. The whole policy is ill-conceived and can only make matters much worse in Cornwall and areas with similar economic problems.
The Housing Investment Plan which was included in Cornwall Council’s budget and covers the next four years, hopes to enable the provision of 4000 houses, of which 1000 should be ‘affordable’ and some of those will be for rent.
With the best will in the world if our current stocks are depleted by this right to buy then there is little prospect of us ever solving our housing problems.
I feel that anyone who welcomes this part of the bill has not thought through the effects locally and its impacts on the chances of our young people desperate to set up homes