a perspective on PR in social housing and regeneration

House prices hit home for Cornish MP

Cornwall’s house price problem hit the headlines again today, with news that local MP Stephen Gilbert can’t afford to buy a house in his constituency.

Mr Gilbert, MP for St Austell and Newquay, put his PR skills to good use by using his own circumstances to highlight the problems faced by locals who have no hope of saving for a 20% deposit in high value areas like Cornwall.

He said today: “This isn’t a ‘woe-is-me’ plea – that would be nonsense. But if I am in this position, finding it hard to save for the deposit for a mortgage to become a first-time-buyer, there must be lots of other people in a similar predicament.”

Leaving aside the £65,000-a-year headlines, he’s right to talk about the problem: Cornwall has the lowest average incomes in the country and the highest house prices, more than 15 times most people’s salaries in some areas. Those who can afford to buy are often ‘second home’ owners, who are reported to account for 10% of the local population.

He calls for better use of empty homes as one way of addressing the issue. Building more new affordable housing would help too, and the HCA is one organisation which has invested significantly in this area in recent years.

From this adversity comes some inspired community-driven solutions too. A self build scheme at St Minver, backed by a local Community Land Trust, is helping local people address the  problem. Self build is something I’ve been contemplating recently too.

Maybe though, as Michael Portillo suggested to the CIH South West conference last Friday, a fall in house prices would help Cornwall too?

Any of these is part of the solution, but probably can’t crack Cornwall’s crisis on its own. I’m sure local people like Mr Gilbert don’t need me to tell them that though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)

Joe Halewood writes about tenant and welfare wrongs

Barney's Blog

Regeneration, Development, Economics, Cities


from the National Trust archaeology team in the Stonehenge & Avebury World Heritage Site

Insight. Ideas. Influence.

a blog about adapting to the digital age

A Cup of Lee

Digital Communications in Ireland

Photos from here, there and everywhere

Pictures I've taken, images I like

Colin Wiles

Commentary on current housing and planning issues

Awesome Screenshot

The Easiest Way To Communicate With Images

Man in the Krowd

Talking Openly, Speaking Privately

4,000 bricks

A place for housing, communications and political debate

AdeCapon's Blog

All things digital, marketing, football and happenings

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

A blog about better decisions, better urban planning and better economics

John Wade

Joining up the planks

Simon Rogers

Data journalism and other curiosities

David Higgerson

Journalism, online, random thinking

Connecting Social Care and Social Media

Sharing resources to promote the use of Social Media in Social Care

John Popham's Random Musings

"Just trying to matter"

The Housing Blog

It's about housing, stupid

Rob Jefferson

Web & Digital Manager for @MyDoncaster | Outdoor adventurer by feet, peddles & paddles

nick atkin

A collection of random views on housing, technology & running

%d bloggers like this: