Homes crisis deepens in Devon and Cornwall
The number of families on housing waiting lists in Cornwall more than doubled last year, as the house-building crisis worsened, a study says.
The South West housing shortfall rose by a quarter to more than 186,000, the biggest in the country, the report warns.
Cornish households on the list now stand at 18,371, up 138% on the previous year, and in Devon the figure shot up by 42% to 40,653, the National Housing Federation said.
Buying a house in Cornwall now costs £220,083 – almost 13 times the average local wage.
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First-time buyers will now need to work for nine years on an average income to save the £55,021 required for a lower priced home.
Cornwall Council said its register had actually reached 27,000 this year, a further 50% rise since the report was compiled.
Mark Kaczmarek, the authority's cabinet member for housing, said he felt like he was "fighting a losing battle".
He urged the cabinet to approve a higher target for house-building over the next 20 years, in a decision today.
"The bare minimum is 49,000 houses – we need to think strategically, " he added. "The waiting list is creeping up more and more – people who are really struggling with rents and are looking for the council to help.
St Ives MP Andrew George said the market was no longer functioning for locals.
"If we are all in this together then communities need power to house desperate local families rather than feed a market hungry for second and retirement homes," he added.