Devon “plagued by housing shortage”
Housing is scarce (courtesy Derek Harper / Geograph)
Decrease in private rentals; increase in AirBnB
Senior advisers are to suggest measures to tackle Devon’s ‘housing crisis’.
Rising prices and a shortage of rental housing have raised fears that people whose families have lived in the county for generations will be ‘pushed back’, while others are being discouraged from working in Devon.
Devon County Council recently estimated that around 70 percent of private properties that were rented two years ago are no longer available to tenants, while official figures have revealed house prices in some parts of the county grew by as much as 20 percent in the past year.
Data from the Office for National Statistics also shows that eight percent of properties in the South Hams are now second homes, with four percent in North and East Devon.
At a Devon County Council plenary meeting on Thursday, Councilor Rob Hannaford (Exwick & St Thomas), leader of the Labor Group, will present a motion which “notes with concern that Devon is in the throes of a serious crisis in lodging”.
His motion adds: “Second home sales are skyrocketing, private landlords are turning to vacation rentals in large numbers, far fewer homes are available to buy or rent, and renters and buyers are turning to vacation rental. billed out of the county in an unprecedented manner.
“The post-pandemic housing boom in the far southwest has particularly worsened decades of systemic underinvestment in social and affordable housing, which has prevented local councils, housing associations, charity houses and charities to invest in more essential housing for local populations and families.
“Homeownership is now a distant dream for many and the people who have lived here for generations are being pushed further away by house prices than they simply cannot afford.”
Cllr Hannaford wants the council to set up an action group to seek to provide housing for key workers to its staff, such as social workers for adults and children, while also organizing and coordinating a “Housing Forum in Devon “to” develop a range of effective local services and local solutions to help tackle the housing crisis in Devon.
In addition, Cllr Hannaford asked the council to work with its MPs to ensure that Michael Gove, now in charge of the renowned Department for Upgrading, Housing and Communities, “fully understands the collective housing challenges we face. are facing urgently in Devon “.
Councilor Alan Connett (Lib Dem, Exminster & Haldon), Leader of the Opposition at County Council, will also ask him to call on the government to: “End the tax loophole for owners of second homes passing the tax housing at the business rate and then claim the “small business” exemption, so they pay nothing at all.
“To extend the notice period given to tenants to six months [and] keep local housing allowances at covid level (plus cost of living increases) to help families move in. “
Cllr Connett adds that the council should work with district, city and borough councils to “establish a ‘housing task force’ working across the county to combat theft to Airbnb and vacation rentals and support the provision of emergency rented housing on county-owned land. “
County Council chief Councilor John Hart (Tory, Bickleigh & Wembury) recently said the decline in private rental stock was “quite terrifying”, adding in a statement: “… if teachers, nurses and young professionals were refusing work opportunities here because there is no accommodation to rent, that has to change.
Councilors will discuss the motions and vote on their approval at the plenary council meeting in Exeter’s Sandy Park on Thursday [7 October].