Cornwall councillors have called for more to be done to bring council houses up to standard after it was revealed Cornwall has some fo the worst council housing in the country.
The council currently own more than 10,000 homes, managed by Cornwall Housing Limited, which is also owned by Cornwall Council. Many of these homes however, are said to be in poor condition, with one council officer admitting that the county has some of the worst housing stock in the country.
At a meeting of the council’s economic growth and development overview and scrutiny committee, Mike Owen, landlord services manager for Cornwall Council, explained the state of council housing across Cornwall. He said: “The housing stock is not in great shape, it is very damp, very cold and very old. Compared to many local authorities we are in the bottom quartile for the quality of our stock.”
He went on to explain the gap in the actual and necessary funding allocated to home improvements by the council. Currently £24 million has been allocated but Mr Owen believes the required sum is closer to £100 million in order to bring properties up to standard.
Independent councillor Tim Dwelly suggested the council consider the regeneration of its council housing, rebuilding homes which are no longer of a good standard and then seeking to make money out of some of the land which could be invested into council housing.
Cllr Dwelly said it was a “failure of this council” that it had not been investing to improve the current housing stock and bring it up to a decent standard. He called for “redesigning areas so that people get decent new homes, so that money is made to use other bits of that land to cover that cost”, adding that “It is normal regeneration and it happens in other parts of the country but we don’t do anything here in Cornwall.”
The committee voted unanimously in favour of noting the report and calling for the council to consider regeneration schemes in order to provide quality replacement homes for local people and improve the council’s housing stock.