Cornwall: Cornwall Council in the United Kingdom has sold 11 Grade II listed flats in Looe for £1 to the Three Seas Community Land Trust. The flats were originally valued at £640,000 each.
The council made the decision to sell the flats because the maintenance costs were unsustainable. The trust has committed to investing £1 million in refurbishing the flats.
The sale is seen as a positive step towards addressing the affordable housing crisis in Looe. The shortage of affordable housing has been exacerbated by the prevalence of second-home ownership and holiday rentals in the county.
Councillor David Harris, Cornwall Council’s deputy leader, said: “An open market sale of these flats could have led to the loss of affordable housing in Looe. This, in turn, would have increased demand for temporary accommodation, negatively impacting the housing service.”
He added: “A community-led redevelopment scheme would ensure the flats continue to serve as affordable housing provision.”
The affordable housing crisis is a pressing issue in the UK. The Centre for Cities reports a significant backlog of 4.3 million homes urgently needed to accommodate the country’s growing population.
Cornwall Council’s initiative in Looe is a small but important step towards addressing this nationwide challenge.