Properties purchased by Cornwall Council to tackle housing crisis

The abandoned properties are being put back into service by Cornwall Council to provide housing for those struggling to find a place to live during the current housing crisis.

The projects will provide urgently needed housing, allowing time to roll out the longer-term plan to rapidly increase the number of housing available to the local population.

In Penzance, the municipality bought a large abandoned cottage, which has been converted into a self-contained house for four people and will soon be occupied by its first residents.

Read more: Protesters and bailiffs clash in front of the police for eviction

Local contractors were used where possible and in Penzance the renovations were carried out by PH Construction and Consultancy.

In Newquay, a vacant building owned by the municipality is coming back to life. The building will provide good quality accommodation for five more people.

The council has also purchased property in Penryn and is planning a large-scale renovation in the fall to provide accommodation for 12 people in six purpose-built shared apartments.

Cornwall Council is also looking for larger properties to renovate or convert.

To meet another aspect of local needs, the purchase of one bedroom apartments, houses and bungalows is now also well underway.

To date, 12 properties have been purchased, and 21 more are in the process of being transferred. Overall, the council hopes to have purchased around 60 homes across the Duchy by mid-2022 to help single homeless residents access affordable medium-term housing.

Olly Monk, Housing and Planning Council Portfolio Holder, said: “Our goal is to end the use of short-term and expensive accommodation, in hotels and B & Bs, which offer no security in terms of length of stay. These projects will provide secure, comfortable and independent housing for people.

“We have other properties in the works for a similar purpose. This council is committed to doing everything in its power to ensure that local people have access to good quality housing at affordable prices and from a landlord they can trust.

The council is working to respond to housing pressures in a variety of ways, such as expanding temporary single berth cabin programs, with units installed at New County Hall in Truro and Rosewarne parking lot in Camborne, in addition existing sites in Truro. and Penzance that were put in place at the start of the pandemic.

A historic modular home project is also underway at Cowlins Mill, Pool, as well as the new Somewhere Safe to Stay center in Truro.

The council also continues to work for:

  • buy houses for social housing
  • build more social housing as well as affordable housing to rent or buy for local people
  • unlock the regeneration potential of city centers to provide more housing
  • support community-run organizations that want to deliver their own homes
  • offer loans to rehabilitate empty housing.

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