AirBnb and homelessness in the South-West

“We need tourism in Cornwall — there are not many other industries down here. But currently, we’re a little out of balance and the tourism industry, namely short-term rentals, are pushing people away from their communities and causing an imbalance in the housing system.”

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Recently, Plymouth Live looked at the main ’causes’ of the housing crisis in these parts:

The South West has some of the highest house prices compared to average income in the country, blamed on a limited housing stock, and the rise in existing housing being used for second homes and short-term holiday lets. Too few homes are being built and many new homes are unaffordable for local people especially those in key worker roles.

AirBnBs and second homes ‘turbo-charging’ housing crisis – Plymouth Live

There have been some moves to limit in turn these short-term holiday lets:

Airbnb landlords in rural areas may need a licence to offer their homes as short-term holiday lets | Daily Mail Online

Perhaps, because local people are getting more vociferous – with this campaign among many, started in Cornwall:

credit: Gavin Goulder

First NOT Second Homes | Facebook

Another Cornwall campaigner makes the point:

We need tourism in Cornwall — there are not many other industries down here. But currently, we’re a little out of balance and the tourism industry, namely short-term rentals, are pushing people away from their communities and causing an imbalance in the housing system.
To prove it, do a search anywhere in Cornwall on Airbnb. Then do the same search for houses to buy on Zoopla. Then do the same search for rental properties on Zoopla.
I’ll do it for you…

Next month I will be homeless. Here’s why… | by Jamie Curnow | Feb, 2022 | Medium

Last week, the BBC reported from Cornwall – on families facing the realities of the local housing market:

House prices in Cornwall rose 50% faster than the UK average in the first year of the pandemic, to £270,000 – 13 times the average local salary, £20,710, which is 20% lower than that of the wider UK.

Cornwall: I have to live in an Airbnb in my hometown – BBC News

And this week, Channel Four reports from Cornwall – on how attractive it is for the holiday-makers who are fuelling the market in second homes and short-term holiday lets:

Sandi Toksvig’s Extraordinary Escapes visits Cornwall in Channel 4 show – Cornwall Live

But it’s an issue across the South West – with housing becoming ever more out of reach:

Prices of homes on South West coast rising fastest – BBC News

House prices have shot up in every town in Devon except one – Devon Live

How much, though, is ‘property porn’ simply exacerbating this?

BBC iPlayer – Escape to the Country – Series 22: 28. Devon

In other words, the growth in second homes and short-term holiday lets is a direct cause of the growth in homelessness.

This is from 2017 and the region’s largest city:

The rise of Airbnb is making Bristol’s homeless problem worse – Bristol Live

This is from last summer, after a season of staycations:

10,000 Airbnbs and nowhere to live: Cornwall’s housing crisis | openDemocracy

And this is from last month, which makes the point very clear:

Cornwall has as many homeless families as holiday lets | ITV News West Country

   
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