The cost of housing, whether you want to rent or buy, is drifting out of reach for a significant number of people in Cornwall. Before standing to be your MP, I built my own small construction company, increasing the local housing stock by developing redundant buildings into residential properties. Housing is important to me, and I hope to be able to reduce the number of people unable to find homes locally.
1. Increase the housing supply for local people
We must begin to develop redundant sites such as the Old Penwith Depot in Penzance (earmarked for affordable housing in the days of Penwith District Council) and the Stennack Garage Services site in St Ives. We must build small clusters of new homes in our villages and towns to bring a fresh energy to local communities. I am also working to ensure that properties are not left vacant when they could be fulfilling social housing needs. There are grants available to do this and it has proved a great way of increasing footfall in our town centres.
2. Low-cost housing for lower income workers
It is crucial that as we increase the housing supply for local people, we ensure that this includes genuinely affordable options for families threatened with being priced out of their communities. I am working with the Cornwall Council and social housing groups to ensure that there is sufficient provision of affordable housing for local families.
- I am in favour of refurbishing empty houses and converting empty spaces above shops into homes. They are scattered across the constituency and could house local people relatively quickly. If you know of any properties which have been empty for a long time please feel free to contact me.
- I am also the Secretary for the Healthy Homes and Buildings APPG which focuses on the general health and well being of those who are living and/or working in poor quality and unhealthy environments.