Caught up in Cornwall worse housing crisis
Across Cornwall the number of people in emergency accommodation has risen to 1,500, up from about 1,000 a year ago.
Placed in B&Bs, hotels and holidays parks, they are often moved between places multiple times across months.
Cornwall Council said it was a “heart-wrenching” situation and had invested £300m to help tackle the crisis.
Emma, who did not want us to use her real name, has been living in a holiday park with her 12-month-old son near Newquay since January, said: “I feel like I’ve been abandoned at Cornwall, and nothing has been explained.
Having successfully rented without any problems for years, the supermarket worker suddenly found herself with nowhere to go last year.
A Section 21 no-fault eviction notice arrived at her home near Truro, and despite having six months to look, there was nothing affordable.
Landlords can legally evict tenants this way, so long as they give four months notice. The government has pledged to end no-fault evictions.
At 15:30 GMT on the day her notice period ended, she received a text message from the council telling her to move to a hotel in Fraddon, 13 miles (21km) away.
Four weeks later she said she was told to leave the hotel: “I was evicted again, waiting outside in the car park at the Premier Inn with all of my stuff and my baby boy, not knowing where I was going or what I was going to do.
“I was sat in my car ringing and ringing them [Cornwall Council].”
She was eventually told to go to a “disgusting” hotel in Newquay, before being placed in the holiday park.
She said she was not sure how long she would remain at the site, or if she would be found a permanent home.
“I’m so frustrated. I’m bidding on so many houses but nothing is ever available.
“I’ve always private rented my whole life and always found somewhere to live. It is typical that now I’ve got my baby I can’t find anywhere.”
The Cornwall councillor in charge of housing, Olly Monk, said: “It’s absolutely heart-wrenching to hear the plight of some of our families but there is not a magic wand for this.
“At the moment it is difficult to build as quickly as we want.”
The local authority said it was the accommodation providers that decide when their rooms are available to homeless tenants, often on a day-by-day basis, meaning they cannot give more notice.
“I favour using more holiday park or park home style sites as it tends to be more on a week-by-week basis rather than a day-by-day basis, which you face with the hotel chains and B&B provider,” Mr Monk said.
The council also said its services were under huge demand and “unfortunately each case takes a time to work its way through and provide people with the information that they demand”.
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