Affordable housing – Cornwall second best from a low base

Cornwall delivered the second-highest number of affordable* homes in England in 2020-21, the latest Government figures show.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has published its latest housing statistics, which reveal that 814 affordable homes were completed in the Duchy in 2020-21.

Further, it has been confirmed that Cornwall has seen the second-highest affordable housing delivery in England over the past decade, with 8,172 homes built between 2011-12 and 2020-21.

Olly Monk, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning, said: “This is great news and shows that we are consistently delivering some of the highest levels of affordable housing in the country.

“I’d like to thank our Housing and Planning teams for everything they do to facilitate this, as well as partner Registered Providers  and developers  who have provided these homes for our residents.

“But there is more to do; we have ambitious plans for the future and we want to speed up delivery and deliver more overall, so that we can work towards consistently coming out top in the league tables in the future.

However, it’s worth highlightinthat this data shows the delivery of affordable housing is a continued challenge across the country and not a problem confined to Cornwall.

However, the picture isn’t so rosy when you look at the figures. The Bude & Stratton has done the work for me. They say:

…when these figures are broken down, just 10 of those were homes which would be available for social rent.

The B & S adds:

  • 469 were classed as affordable rent – where they are made available at 80% of the current market rent rate.
  • Another 234 were shared ownership, homes where people can apply for a mortgage for part of the property and then pay a monthly rent for the remainder and have the option to buy the property outright later.
  • 47 homes were provided for intermediate rent and 54 were affordable homes for ownership, sold at 80% of the market value.
  • While Cornwall was the second best local authority for the delivery of affordable homes in 2020/21 the total has dropped to its lowest level for five years. This could have been an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

*Affordable housing includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. It can be a new-build property or a private sector property that has been purchased for use as an affordable home.

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