Almost 40,000 people have signed a petition urging rent caps for private tenants and hefty tax rises for second home owners.
The online petition on the Change.org site says Cornwall is on the verge of a homelessness crisis, worsened by what it calls the current “second homes property frenzy.”
The county has been at the heart of the so-called ‘race for space’ as buyers from the south east and other areas of England have changed lifestyle following the pandemic.
Part of the lengthy introduction to the petition says: “Cornwall currently has more than 10,290 active Airbnb listings, yet in comparison, the housing website Rightmove had only 62 properties available to rent privately across the whole county.”
Petitioners want Cornwall’s council - won by the Conservatives at the May local elections - to:
“Levy a higher, more stringent tax on second homes which recognises the threat they pose to local communities;
“Close the loophole which allows them to be classed as 'businesses' allowing them to tap into locally allocated funds and in some cases avoid paying council tax altogether;
“Work quickly towards outlining firm strategies to cap local rents in keeping with local incomes so that local families are not left homeless.
“Use the funds accrued from taxing second homes properly into building FIRST and ONLY affordable homes for local families.”
You can see the petition in full here.