21 January 2011

Two affordable housing stories for January.

At Porthleven there are 528 applications for 26 social-rent houses.

At St Ives there are 561 applications for 44 social-rent houses.

The two places are more attractive than some others in Cornwall but the oversubscription shows well the demand for affordable housing for rent in Cornwall. There are about 18 000 on the county waiting list. It shows too how Cornwall district councils and the UK/England governments of the last thirty years failed utterly to advance public housing sufficiently. Labour’s failure here is grievous: after its thirteen years scarcely a dent was discernible in the waiting lists for affordable housing in England. There was no political will and not enough money was provided. In Cornwall, as elsewhere, the voices of the opponents were loud and listened to.

It is going to get worse. The Tory Libdem government’s decision to remove central government housing targets, the modest pressure to provide affordable housing, to cut funds, and to hand a veto to local people already comfortably housed in the neighbourhood – a triple whammy – is likely to mean fewer affordable houses built.

I have in the affordable housing posts looked at some of the issues and diversions and suggested what to do. I think second homes are a largely irrelevant issue in the provision of affordable homes, empty houses can have only a minor input, and diversions include reasons from the vast menu of nonsense which boil down to Not here where I live. I want simply to say again that the primary way to deal with the shortage of affordable houses is to build more of them. We should focus on that relentlessly.


See here for Porthleven and see the Cornishman 20 January 2011 for St Ives.

A bleak outlook for affordable housing in Cornwall This post also explores these issues