On Change.org sits this petition started by Abigail Harding who says:
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 has to act NOW. We’ve had enough of second home ownership out-pricing locals, leaving local homes empty and stripping communities of their heart and soul.
The latest second homes property frenzy in the county is the last straw.
It has seen an unprecedented 15% increase in local house prices since April last year, which as well as placing them well beyond the reach of local buyers, is now starting to severely affect the private rental market, leaving local families with simply nowhere to go.
Cornwall currently has more than 10,290 active Airbnb listings, yet in comparison, the housing website Rightmove had only 62 properties available to rent privately across the whole county on Friday evening (The Guardian, 30th May 2021).
This is a homelessness crisis waiting to happen and Linda Taylor needs to act NOW.
So far this year, 44 percent of house buyers have come from outside Cornwall, the highest level since at least 2012.
To add insult to injury, approximately £133m of Cornwall’s Covid Aid has now been given out to second home/holiday let owners since the first lockdown with around a half of the people who have received this money registered with addresses outside of Cornwall. This is wholly unacceptable.
We demand that Linda Taylor and the newly formed Conservative Cornwall Council show their renewed commitment to the Cornish people by making quick and decisive moves to:
- Levy a higher, more stringent tax on second homes which recognises the threat they pose to local communities.
- Close the loophole which allows them to be classed as ‘businesses’ allowing them to tap into locally allocated funds and in some cases avoid paying council tax altogether.
- Work quickly towards outlining firm strategies to cap local rents in keeping with local incomes so that local families are not left homeless.
- Use the funds accrued from taxing second homes properly into building FIRST and ONLY affordable homes for local families.
Please sign and share this petition to save Cornwall’s precious coastal communities!