On Wednesday, 16 February 2022, Labour MPs, councillors and activists came together to launch an event calling time on communities across the UK being hollowed out by second homes and Airbnb conversions.
Luke has worked with Cllr Jayne Kirkham, Leader of the Labour Group on Cornwall Council, and Labour Coast and Country, to develop the First Homes not Second Homes campaign, which calls on urgent action to tackle the housing crisis in rural communities. Ideas put forward include new taxes on holiday lets, a licencing regime, and a levy to fund local shops and services.
Luke launched the First Homes, Not Second Homes manifesto in Parliament in December. You can read it here: https://www.lukepollard.org/news/2021/12/09/luke-announces-first-homes-not-second-homes-manifesto-for-the-south-west/
“The pandemic has turbocharged our housing crisis. We not only have a housing crisis; we have a homes crisis. In many rural areas, there are enough houses but not enough homes for people to live in. Too many tenants have been turfed out to make way for holiday lets and second homes, which can sit empty for much of the year.
“Our rural and coastal villages are being hollowed out, and local people are priced out of moving or buying within the community where they grew up. Housing policy should put local people first. We need to put first homes first, and second homes second.”
Labour Coast and Country’s Hywel Lloyd said:
“As Sir Keir Starmer has highlighted, Labour is the party that will fight for people in every community, every town, and every village – decent affordable housing is key to his ambition that people can succeed where they’re born and action such as these proposed by Luke and Jayne are to be commended.”