Homeless crisis grows as holiday lets boom

“So-called second homes and Airbnbs aren’t home to anyone”

“Local communities need new powers to keep homes in residential use and limit numbers of second homes.”

From today’s Western Morning News

A VILLAGE in Devon is being seen as a worrying example of the impact a huge growth in holiday rentals has on the homeless crisis affecting many parts of Britain.

Braunton, reputedly England’s biggest village, has seen a growth in holiday lets in recent years, driven in part by the expansion of Airbnb.

As fears grow that more property owners could move into the holiday business next season, one Braunton local is warning that her community is being squeezed to death by the changes.

Emma Hookway has lived in Braunton since she was 16. But she and her six-year-old son lost their rented home when her landlady’s daughter moved back in. She has now launched a local housing crisis campaign.

She said a two-bedroom bungalow in Braunton now cost around £1,200 a month. Many properties have been taken out of the reach of locals and are now offered to holidaymakers. In nearby Croyde and Woolacombe one in four properties are on Airbnb. In St Ives the figures is one in five In Newquay it is one in six.

Will McMahon, Director of Action on Empty Homes told the Daily Telegraph more homes were needed to meet local needs. “So-called second homes and Airbnbs aren’t home to anyone,” he added. “Local communities need new powers to keep homes in residential use and limit numbers of second homes.”

Tourism leaders say second homes bring vital earnings to coastal communities.

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