Holiday parks to house homeless people in Cornwall

UK: Cornwall Council is to buy two unnamed holiday parks in the county that will house homeless people and families, as part of a £15 million package of measures to increase the amount of temporary accommodation amid the housing shortage.

According to the BBC, the two parks are located in the Hayle and Helston areas, with the site in the former accommodating 19 households for single people and small families, while the site at the latter will house nine families.

Olly Monk, member for housing at the council’s Cabinet Committee, did not disclose the names of the holiday parks, although local newspaper The Falmouth Packet suggested that the sites in question could be Poldown Caravan and Camping Park in Carleen and Sandy Acres in Hayle, with the former listed for sale and the latter seemingly being pulled from the market recently.

Councillor Monk said that the measures were necessary as housing was “the greatest priority facing this council”, adding that the local authority was facing a loss of £5.9 million in housing benefit and that “without significant capital intervention, that cost will rise even further”.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reported that some families had been evicted from their homes earlier in the pandemic when landlords had decided to sell or to turn them into holiday homes.

A number of councillors raised questions about the council’s future plans, given that the funds had previously been earmarked to provide affordable housing via the Community Land Trust, although the Cabinet Committee later agreed to the purchase of the properties in a private session.

Earlier this year, Cornwall Council confirmed that 130 homeless people were moved out of temporary accommodation, including hotels, to make way for paying guests at the time of the G7 summit at the luxury Carbis Bay Hotel. Furthermore, it was reported that the homeless people, who were staying in the hotels on emergency coronavirus contracts, were made to sleep in cars and tents, with some locals linking the evictions to an escalation of positive Covid-19 infections in the aftermath of the summit.