Families say ‘greedy’ holiday market is forcing them out of their home

Cornish locals have slammed the “greed” of the holiday rental market which has left them struggling to put roofs over their heads. They say so many properties have been converted for sites such as Airbnb it is impossible for them to afford accommodation.

In a documentary on BBC Two tonight, presenter Simon Reeve travels to the county to see what life is like for residents in the off-season, once wealthy holidaymakers depart.

He meets a young family of five who have been living in temporary accommodation since their landlord sold up five months ago.

Their old house remains empty and they walk past it each day. Speaking at their room in Sandy Lodge, Newquay, mother Kim told Simon: “It’s horrible, I’ve always wanted to bring my kids up here because I’ve always loved the way of life. Now I kind of hate it.

“It’s the greediness. There’s so many properties that are listed as holiday lets when they could be used by people like us.”

Kim, partner Ryan and three children were given two months’ notice and evicted from their rented home of two-and-a-half years.

Ryan said “nobody can afford” a three-bed house for rent at £1,300 per month. And Kim added: “The thing that has been breaking me the most is being asked if we will have a house for Christmas yet.

“We feel like we are failing our kids when the system is failing us.

“I think a lot of people look down on people in our situation: they just think they must be there because of drugs or alcohol or it must be their own fault, when in reality if they stop to ask questions, we are very open about our situation.”

Monique Collins, a manager at DISC Newquay, a homelessness relief centre, said: “As electricity, gas and everything has
gone up, we’ve seen an increase of 90 percent for our services.

“The main cause I find is that people in work are no longer able to cope on the wages they receive.”

But David Simmons, a fifth-generation owner of an 8,000-acre Cornish farm, said that wages are not the issue and his
migrant workers expected to earn at least £100 a day picking cauliflowers at a com­mission rate.

He said: “The main reason is the physical hard work of working in fields in all ­weathers. The problem is that Brits have got it too cushty, we are not hungry enough, we are not desperate enough for money.”

● Simon Reeve’s Return To Cornwall, BBC Two, tonight at 9pm.

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