Friday, 23 December 2016

Second Homes also affect the culture and Community in England.

It has long been a case that those who have expressed  concern about second-home ownership in Wales have been aware and stated often that a similar problem exists in England
So it is welcome that the government  on Westminster is to introduce a £60m annual fund to help areas of England with high levels of second-home ownership to "tackle the problem".
The money, to be shared by 150 councils over five years, will go into providing "affordable" housing for first-time buyers in places where demand is high.
The money has been raised through increases in stamp duty.
Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said this would help those who struggle to get permanent accommodation.
One-third of the money will go to south-west England.
I am not sure how many houses could be built wit £60 million but it may be possible for £50,000
The BBC reports that 
This area, according to the government, accounts for 21% of all second-home ownership in the country.(presumably they mean England alone)
Councils will distribute their share of the money to community groups to invest in building and the development of housebuilding skills.
The South East will get £11m, the East of England almost £9m, Yorkshire and Humberside £6 and the North West almost £6m.
Smaller sums will go the East Midlands, London, the West Midlands and the North East.
 The government says second-home ownership is at an "all-time high" and is "crowding out" first-time buyers by artificially raising prices.
The Department for Communities and Local Government reports that there were 340,000 second homes in England in 2013/14, its most recent figures. This constituted a rise of 98,000 in five years.
Mr Barwell said:
"The high number of second homes can be a frustration for many who struggle to find an affordable home in their community.
"This new fund will help tackle that by boosting supply and making sure community groups are at the heart of delivering new homes, so that this is a country that works for everyone."
During the first year of the scheme, funding will focus on improving skills and reviewing housing needs in different areas.

It "must then be used to deliver housing on the ground for local people"during the second year. i
I wonder if there will be a clause forbidding resale as a second or holiday home it would be  rather pointless if we found in 10 years time 25% of these houses  would become second homes.
The move comes  after  Residents of a seaside town have stemmed the tide of second homes-building in a referendum to ban construction.
St Ives in Cornwall  held the vote after a surge in holiday homes in the Cornish town and a shortage of affordable housing.
The plans mean new housing projects will get planning permission only if reserved for full-time residents.
There is of course a similar problem in Wales made even more prominent n that it affect sWelsh speaking communities. As local people in Y Fro Cymraeg that part of Wales where Welsh is the prominent Language find themselves outbid by English speakers (and indeed some Welsh speakers from elsewhere) who buy second homes  turn village are empty in the Winter .
Citing the Welsh Language leads to politicians  some to accuse those raising this in the debate over second homes of racism.
Now the Westminster government has  de facto admitted that second-homes lead t a problem  for local to enter the housing market .
Can we see recognition that even in areas where the locals speak English such as the Lake District in North West England their sense of community is being destroyed by second homes.
Can we no stop accusing those defending Welsh speaking communities of racism with regards to second homes and recognise that this is not just a problem  of people being out priced by second home owners but it is also an adverse effect on the Communities not only  in Portmadog but St Ives and  Grassmere.

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