Cornwall's housing crisis: The family who have moved 11 times in 18 months

  • Watch Kathy Wardle's report

A family from Cornwall have spoken out about the housing crisis in the county after moving temporary accommodation 11 times, in the past 18 months. 

The social housing crisis in the county has intensified in recent months as second home owners take advantage of the booming staycation market. 

Last weekend, around 150 people from across Cornwall protested in the rain to call for the Duchy's politicians to do more to stop the housing crisis.

Cornwall residents Kris Metters and Emma Sennett have been placed in temporary accommodation with their six children 11 times in the past 18 months as they wait for longer-term social housing.

"I've lived here [in Cornwall] my whole life. I've rented, I've paid my way and I can't even get a house for me and my kid," Kris told ITV News West Country. 

He added: “She's two and a half years old and she's never been in a stable home, she's never had a bed, she's never been in a stable home the whole time she's been alive.''

Emma said: "Most people move on average they say 10-15 times in their lifetime - we've done that in a year, or just over a year.

"We just want a stable home. Most people say they want to live in this town or that town - we'll live anywhere."

There are around 16,000 people on Cornwall's housing register, with an average wait of nine months to find a property.

It means there are often hundreds of people bidding on just one property.

Manager of Newquay Drop In and Share centre, Monqiue Collins, says she now gets several calls a day from families facing eviction. 

Monique Collins runs Newquay Drop In and Share Credit: ITV West Country

''What we find is mothers with children sleeping on friends floors, people going into tents, people living in their vans it's dire out there.

"There's just absolutely nothing available, and it's time that our council steps up and our government steps up and builds some affordable homes.''

Cornwall Council says it is doing everything in its power to deal with both the immediate issues and implement the more ambitious long-term plan Cornwall needs. 

This includes:

  • Providing hundreds of temporary and emergency accommodation places

  • Buying existing homes to use as social housing  

  • Building more council houses 

It is also working with Cornwall's MPs to push for changes which would tighten up tax loopholes and planning laws on holiday lets.

Cornwall Councillor Olly Monk Credit: ITV West Country

Cabinet member for housing Olly Monk said: “The issues our residents are experiencing have been brought to a head in the aftermath of the pandemic which has led to an unprecedented imbalance in supply and demand.

"We are acting swiftly to deal with the immediate issues as well as to implement a more ambitious long term plan to provide decent affordable housing for our residents.

"We’re also lobbying government to give us the power to set a premium on council tax charged on second homes and remove the loophole that allows second homes to register as holiday lets and claim business rate relief.”