Cornwall Council has launched a plea to anyone with a spare room, an empty property or an unused annexe to come forward and help with Cornwall's housing crisis.

The local authority has said that as part of its commitment to tackle the pressure on housing in Cornwall and help people struggling to find a secure home, the Council wants to work with residents to make better use of existing houses and buildings.

The Council says that in return for people offering spare rooms, properties or annexes for rent, they'll provide support to help householders manage the practicalities of renting their properties.

Potential landlords working with the Council would lease the properties to Cornwall Council on a three or five year 'private sector leasing' basis, paid the rent equivalent to the local housing allowance for the property and Cornwall Council would manage the property during the lease before returning it to the owner in the same condition as at the start of the lease. The properties would go to homeless people or families.

Olly Monk, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for housing and planning said:“We all need and deserve somewhere safe, warm and secure to live.

“We are already working closely with partners on a range of schemes to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, increase the availability of homes for local residents, and provide more affordable homes and homes for social rent.

“However, while these initiatives are making a real difference, we know that the impact of the ‘perfect storm’ in the local housing market means that all types of people, including working families, couples and singles, are still struggling to find somewhere to live.

“We recognise that some people who may have spare rooms in their homes, or who have unused annexes or empty properties, can be put off by the practicalities of renting them out. By working with us to provide accommodation for local residents who are facing homelessness, we can offer help and support by identifying potential tenants for spare rooms, or, where appropriate, by leasing and then managing the letting of privately owned properties.”