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Urgent action to tackle Devon’s housing crisis has been agreed by a coalition of cross-party county councillors.

13 Dec

From Devon County Council’s News blog, 2 Dec 2021: 
Main Points– 

  • County councillors backed the creation of a new strategic housing task force in partnership with Devon’s district, town and parish councils in Team Devon and  Homes England.
  • The county council will examine whether it can offer accommodation to key workers to work for the authority. They will lobby MPs for existing tax loopholes on holiday rental homes to tighten up.
  • Key workers in care, health and education can’t fill job vacancies because they can’t find anywhere to rent. And more and more long-term rental properties are being converted to short-term holiday lets or sold off to take advantage of rising prices.
  • Devon is to consider converting some offices and/or other properties into housing for key workers and offering grants towards deposits for house purchase.

It comes as new figures show house price rises in some parts of Devon are among the highest in the country. 
The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show house price inflation in Devon is running at an average of 13.4 percent – more than Cornwall or Somerset. 
North Devon at 22.4 percent is in the top 10 districts in the country for house price growth with Torridge on 19.8 percent, the South Hams at 15.5 percent and East Devon on 14.8 percent
Figures produced for Team Devon show AirBnB offering 253 rentals in Exmouth compared with just four residential lettings. In Ilfracombe the comparison is 326 AirBnB compared to four resident lets.

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