This has apparently risen by 2,000 in just two months and is now 23,000. A scandal indeed and the result of a generation of relying on the market plus the destruction of council housing by Tory and Labour Governments. But cue Mark Kazcmarek, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for Housing, who has a cunning plan.
He wants the Council to borrow £20 million to buy land for more houses. Now if this were to build social housing for subsidised rents (and there’s the rub – they can’t subsidise it anymore) then all well and good. Although £20 million would only build somewhere around 200-300 houses so it’s a bit of a proverbial drop in an ocean over-populated by red herrings.
Moreover, Kazcmarek wasn’t exactly crystal clear about what the land would be used for. At one point he stated it would be used to deliver
local needs housing
But then he went on to say it would be sold on to others with only
the majority [being] affordable
I hope I’m not being too cynical in suspecting this might be just another way to ease planning permission for the council’s developer mates.
Kazcmarek also said that the land could be used
for housing purposes or even business purposes
Business purposes? What might these be?
The real difficulty of meeting local needs is unfortunately being used as a smokescreen to distract attention from of all those unaffordable houses the Council (and their developer friends) want to build to sell to comfortably-off in-migrants.
Strange indeed how the problem of rising waiting lists so easily and conveniently segues into the ‘need’ to build more unaffordable houses. Jenny Allen from the National Housing Federation (the ‘voice of housing associations’) was keen to leap in to say we must increase the number of houses – apparently of any kind – over the 48,000 already proposed by the Council. The more unaffordables (and the more in-migrants) the better as it allows us to build more affordables for locals (and for non-locals of course although they’re rarely mentioned).
This mad hatter’s tea party thinking did not warrant a jot of critical interrogation from the Radio Yokel presenter. Far from it, this idiot was too busy equating the waiting list with people
needing a roof over their heads
That particular myth (much of the increase will presumably be people with a roof over their heads but struggling to pay the exorbitant rent required to keep it there) was then (deliberately?) encouraged by Kazcmarek. The rise in the waiting list was, he said, a result of people
made homeless [and] living on the streets.
Really? Mark Kazcmarek should be congratulated for beginning a grown-up debate about ways to solve the market-induced housing crisis in Cornwall. But perhaps he could start by spelling out for us exactly how many of the 23,000 are actually homeless.