Graffiti criticising second homeowners appears in Cornwall

St Agnes second homeowner graffiti
The graffiti asks second homeowners to let their properties at an affordable rate. Credit: Jimmy Pinfield

Graffiti criticising second home owners for contributing to the ongoing housing crisis in Cornwall has appeared in St Agnes.

Scrawled in black paint, the writing says: "Second home owners give something back: rent or sell your empty houses to local people at a fair price."

On another building the words "no more investment properties" have been painted.

The vandalism comes as people in the county call for more to be done to secure accommodation and future prospects for people living in Cornwall, with younger generations facing the reality of being priced out of their home towns.

Recent figures show the number of affordable homes being built in Cornwall is at its lowest in five years with 814 being built over 2020/21.

When the data was released, the council's cabinet member for housing called the stats for the county "disappointing".

Cllr Olly Monk said: "Even though the figures show we are one of the best performing authorities in the country, I am disappointed in them – 814 is barely touching what we are trying to achieve," he said.

“I am not going to be happy until that is a couple of thousand at least. It illustrates how far behind we are in where we need to be and the journey we need to go on to get where we need to get to.

“Overall there needs to be much more social rent, what I call council housing, that is something we are looking very hard at and are looking to ramp up."

Micro homes are one of the solutions the council has come up with to tackle the backlog of people waiting for housing. Credit: SoloHaus

In the meantime the council has put in place short term fixes, including buying up 'micro homes', to combat the ever growing list of people seeking housing in Cornwall.

One of the key factors driving the crisis is the number of holiday homes in the Duchy which are only available for short term lets instead of long term rentals.

Recent statistics showed that in Newquay the number of short stay lets on Airbnb was 20 times the number of properties available to buy in the area.

What is Cornwall Council doing?

Cornwall Council says whilst there are 20,000 people on its housing list, some of those are already housed but wish to move.

The council says its Housing Crisis Plan proposals will cover four main areas:

  • To work towards ending homelessness and rough sleeping 

  • To improve availability and access to homes for local residents 

  • A step change in the supply of affordable homes in Cornwall 

  • To deliver the new homes Cornwall needs through the Local Plan