THE MAYOR of St Just has questioned the affordable housing application process after new properties recently built in the town were not filled, despite there being over 200 people on the waiting list.
At a town council meeting on Monday Kevin McFadden described the way residents had to “bid” for homes as “ludicrous” and said those who are not computer literate were at a disadvantage.
He said now, following the homes being made available for an allotted time frame and not all filled, there was a danger they would be opened up to prospective candidates outside of the St Just parish.
“They are thinking of going outside - they should be able to fill the houses two or three times over,” he said.
“The houses are for local people - there is a big need in St Just and Pendeen. We all know someone who wants a house. The system is totally wrong.”
Cllr McFadden blamed the complicated application process as the reason the properties, which are owned by Sanctuary Housing, were not filled.
“It’s too complicated,” he said. “I cannot believe that they cannot find people to go in all the homes.
“It [bidding online] doesn’t work for the ordinary person - it should be all done locally.”
Earlier this year Cornwall Council reported a planning approval allows Sanctuary Housing to sell up to 10 of the affordable homes on shared ownership terms, while the majority will be made available for rent.
A s106 planning agreement confirms that eligible applicants need a local connection to the parish of St Just, where there were then 223 qualifying local applicants.
In a statement, a spokeswoman said at the time that “it would seem unlikely that offers of accommodation would ever need to be extended beyond St Just”.
At this week’s meeting other councillors also voiced concerns about the situation, and it was said a letter would be sent to relevant parties outlining concerns.