Homeless people getting a roof above their heads in hotels in Cornwall have been booted out to make way for tourists.
The coastal county – a popular holiday hot-spot for Brits – is facing what has been called an accommodation “crisis” after it was revealed around 130 people homeless people were asked to move out.
They were told rooms at the hotel and B&Bs they were staying in were now needed for paying customers.
Those providing temporary and emergency accommodation now need to cater for a busy summer season and next week’s G7 Summit, they were told.
Olly Monk, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for housing, told CornwallLive solutions needed to be found as quickly as possible.
He said: “Last week about 130 people left temporary and emergency accommodation that the council provides at hotel chains and B&Bs for the reason that people wanted to get back to the business of providing hotel accommodation for regular, paying guests.
“The good weather, the bank holiday and the end of lockdown on June 21, hopefully, has meant those businesses want to get back on a regular footing of providing regular accommodation.”
He added: “Cornwall Housing managed to rehouse pretty much all of them.
“A lot of them moved in with family or friends, some were rehoused in Plymouth.
“A very small number of people, discretionary claimants, who were housed in Cornwall during Covid who couldn’t get back to where they came from during the pandemic have been offered accommodation elsewhere.
“This is a crisis and we need to come up with some innovative solutions to it very quickly.
“Moving forward, the people we are homing in temporary and emergency accommodation are going to come under more pressure as the holiday season progresses and as landlords cash in on the AirB&B side of things.
“Long-term our administration is looking at providing more council housing and open market rented properties for the people of Cornwall. But right now we’ve got a problem with a lot of people in temporary accommodation that we need to house and provide that provision until we start building the council housing that people need.
“This is why I wanted the housing job, it’s something I feel passionate about – it’s a problem in Cornwall and I want to do my best to help.”
Another Cornwall councillor hopes that a legacy from the G7 will provide more accommodation for homeless people.
Jayne Kirkham, Labour councillor for Falmouth Penwerris, said: “The G7 and the encroaching holiday season has flagged up a real weakness in homelessness and housing provision in Cornwall.
“Trying to rehouse so many people at short notice in Cornwall in the summer with the place full due to the G7 is incredibly difficult and expensive. The worry is that some people will slip through the net and end up back on the streets. All the good work done engaging with the support services will be lost and they will go backwards.”