The number of families waiting for social housing in Cornwall is now as high as the number of holiday lets, new figures show.
Data from the Countryside Charity shows that there are now around 15,000 short-term holiday lets in the county – matching the number of families currently waiting for housing.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England said the figures show that families are losing out on a stable home thanks to the number of properties now catering to tourists.
A high saturation of holiday lets in Cornwall has long been an issue in the county, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in England.
The pandemic exacerbated the trend, however, with analysis from real estate advisers the Altus Group showing the number of holiday homes trading as businesses had jumped by more than 20 per cent in 2020 when foreign holidays were not an option.
Residents and local leaders have complained that the high number of holiday lets is driving up prices for local people and eroding local communities, with many homes lying empty for large parts of the year.