South Hams Housing crisis

Begin By Starting

After the pandemic there has been a boom in the number of holidaymakers making their way to Devon and so lots of properties have been converted to Airbnb’s.

Many have also been moving to the area since the pandemic to seek the extra space and access to nature, whilst others have realised that they should be pursuing a different style and pace of life. This has reduced the number of homes available to buy or rent, and pushed up prices.

This lack of affordable homes available for local people has prompted South Hams District Council to take action.

“So many properties have been turned into Airbnb’s. We have every sympathy with people wanting to come and visit the South Hams, but we have to look at the sustainable future of our district and if people can’t afford to live here for work, then the system is going to break down. We can’t have innumerable tourists here if there is nobody here to service the businesses that they are using.”

Judy Pearce – leader of the Council

“We need to do everything in our power to enable local residents to have a decent home. If people move away because they cannot afford to live here or they cannot find affordable rented properties, then our towns and communities will collapse.”

Hilary Bastone – deputy leader

Linking in with their “Better Lives for All” and housing strategy they have several aims to try to solve the crisis. These include:

  1. Freeing up land for development
  2. Putting caps on the number of properties used as holiday accommodation
  3. Ensuring that fair taxes are paid
  4. Increasing the proportion of affordable housing
  5. Encouraging tenants to downsize where possible, including measures to try to make downsizing more attractable and affordable
  6. Making sure that rents are fair and affordable
  7. And Encouraging the development of exemplar low carbon modular housing – and to show that living like this can be pleasant and stylish.

WellBegin By Starting is by design set up to solve all these issues and many more!

  1. BBS settlements are mixed use, and much more self-sufficient than most developments which should open up wider opportunities in terms of land selection.
  2. None of the homes are to be holiday accommodation – that is laid out in our constitution.
  3. We understand that Council Tax is a payment to support the wider community that every settlement is in.
  4. All the homes in BBS Settlements are affordable, 100%.
  5. BBS homes are perfect for those wanting to downsize! Because other cabins can be bolted on to add on rooms when more space is needed it also becomes easier to downsize without leaving your home.
  6. All BBS rents will be fair and affordable.
    BBS homes are low carbon, modular, made from sustainable materials and make use of renewable heat and power. The added benefit of this is that the running costs for residents are much lower, freeing up cash to use elsewhere.
  7. They are also set within pleasant natural surroundings with access to land for relaxing and growing food, and workshops and offices to encourage local livelihoods and a flourishing local economy.

“in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”

Albert Einstein