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Housing Plan Revealed

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11:51am 22nd February 2012

A 62 million pound plan is revealed to try to solve Cornwall's housing crisis.

It will mean 4000 new homes for locals to rent or buy.

Hundreds standing empty will be done up too.

Sian Howells from Padstow wants action on second homes: "We already have roads in Padstow that nobody lives in, in the winter. If you go down the road after the telephone directories have been delivered, some houses have telephone directories sat on their doorsteps for weeks, sometimes even months, which is very sad. I'd like to see the houses that we've got lived in before we build any more.

"In Cornwall we are below the average income and so you can build these affordable houses, but it may not solve Padstow's whole housing problem if the people can't afford them. My concern is that then they would be put back onto the open market and become more holiday homes, of which I think we have enough now".

The key proposals in the plan include:

  1. Delivering 4125 new homes within next four years, 3000 of which will be affordable homes to rent. 
  2. Allocating £2 million to bring 520 empty homes back into use, including granting 70 loans to private owners to tackle disrepair and a “last resort “compulsory purchase revolving fund to buy at least two empty homes a year as a last resort.
  3. Increasing funding to Community Land Trusts to deliver 200 additional homes in rural areas.
  4. Improving 700 existing homes, including tackling fuel poverty for up to 100 of the poorest households in park homes. 
  5. Adapting 2200 homes to make them safe for older and disabled persons, including 400 built to wheelchair and lifetime homes' standards.
  6. Delivering a 60 unit older persons/extra care scheme.
  7. Funding up to 30 new bed spaces for rough sleepers.
  8. Following a successful bid to the HCA for funding for 30 gypsy and traveller pitches, the Council will provide working capital to enable pitches to be delivered in advance of the Government funds being claimed.

Housing portfolio holder Mark Kaczmarek says, "We know that many local people are facing severe difficulties in buying or renting their own home. Access to a good quality home at an affordable price is a basic human need and the Council is committed to taking radical steps to address the housing challenges we face in Cornwall.  Making housing work is not just about providing new homes of the right size and type, however, we also need to ensure we make the very best use of all our housing resources by improving existing homes to ensure they are fit for purpose and limiting the waste of empty homes".

11:51am 22nd February 2012

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