Cornwall family are forced to live in Travelodge for FOUR MONTHS due to lack of affordable housing

Family are forced to live in Travelodge for FOUR MONTHS due to lack of affordable housing after being evicted from their rented property in second home hotspot of Cornwall

  • Charlene Pascoe, 34, and her three children have been in a hotel for 15 weeks 
  • The family are from the popular second home destination of St Blazey, Cornwall
  • The landlord moved back into their rental property leaving them homeless in March
  • Many landlords decided to sell up during the pandemic to holidaymakers looking to purchase a second home popular UK holiday destinations 

A struggling family of four who were evicted from their home in Britain’s second home capital have been forced to live in a Travelodge for four months due to a lack of affordable housing.

Charlene Pascoe, 34, and her three children, from St Blazey, Cornwall, were left with nowhere to go after being evicted from their rental property in March when their landlord decided to move back in. 

They have had to rely on their family and friends who live nearby for meals and play time away from their hotel room.

Ms Pascoe, a support worker for adults with learning difficulties, is from St Blazey, Cornwall, where some areas have up to 40 per cent of properties used as second homes.

During the pandemic, many landlords in Cornwall decided to cash in and sell up to holidaymakers looking to buy second homes in the sought after county.

This further increased prices in the property rental market, with limited affordable housing available for families who permanently reside in Cornwall. 

The sheer level of second homes now in the popular holiday destination has caused a shortage in the supply of housing, leaving rent costs soaring.

Mum Charlene Pascoe, 34, and her three children, Freya, 12 (middle), Kieran, ten (right) and Darcy, two (left), have been living in a Travelodge for 15 weeks due to limited affordable housing in Cornwall as second home buyers flood the market

 Mum Charlene Pascoe, 34, and her three children, Freya, 12 (middle), Kieran, ten (right) and Darcy, two (left), have been living in a Travelodge for 15 weeks due to limited affordable housing in Cornwall as second home buyers flood the market

The family have had to rely on their family and friends who live nearby for meals and play time away from their hotel room. Pictured: The Travelodge hotel in St Austell where the family are staying

The family have had to rely on their family and friends who live nearby for meals and play time away from their hotel room. Pictured: The Travelodge hotel in St Austell where the family are staying

Ms Pascoe and her three children were living in the popular destination of St Blazey but can no longer find a home due to the influx of second home buyers. (File Image: The nearby Par Sands Beach)

Ms Pascoe and her three children were living in the popular destination of St Blazey but can no longer find a home due to the influx of second home buyers. (File Image: The nearby Par Sands Beach)

During the pandemic, many landlords in Cornwall decided to cash in and sell up to holidaymakers looking to buy second homes in the sought after county.

This further increased prices in the property rental market, with limited affordable housing available for families who permanently reside in Cornwall. 

The sheer level of second homes now in the popular holiday destination has caused a shortage in the supply of housing, leaving rent costs soaring.

Ms Pascoe and her children, Freya, 12, Kieran, ten, and Darcy, two, have been staying at the Travelodge St Austell in Cornwall for 15 weeks with no idea when they will be able to leave. 

She said: ‘Somebody said to me at the beginning, “look at it like a holiday” – it’s most certainly not a holiday.’

Ms Pascoe was unable to find anywhere affordable in the area and their first night after their tenancy ended they spent sleeping on her mum’s floor.

Cornwall Council booked the family into a Premier Inn for a week, before they were then moved to the Travelodge in St Austell – where they have been ever since.

Data from Cornwall Council shows where the county's 13,500 second homes were distributed in 2018

Data from Cornwall Council shows where the county’s 13,500 second homes were distributed in 2018

Outraged residents of Cornwall have previously criticised claims that the coastal county 'needs' second home owners - despite holidaymakers bringing the area £2 billion a year. Pictured: Graffiti in St Agnes, near Perranporth, from March tells second home owners to 'rent or sell your empty houses'

 Outraged residents of Cornwall have previously criticised claims that the coastal county ‘needs’ second home owners – despite holidaymakers bringing the area £2 billion a year. Pictured: Graffiti in St Agnes, near Perranporth, from March tells second home owners to ‘rent or sell your empty houses’

Now 15 weeks later they are no further forward, and Ms Pascoe is struggling to cope.

The family room has three beds, a bathroom, a kettle and a cool box – with no kitchen or living area.

Ms Pascoe’s mother Sonia Johns, 57, lives a 15 minute drive away and she has been spending as much time as possible there, cooking dinner for her children and washing their clothes.

‘We’ve had to put the majority of things in storage but the stuff we need still takes up loads of space,’ she said.

‘I look every day for houses on the council website to get us out of this mess but you can only bid on one property a week and it’s always so busy.

‘I have one daughter in big school, a son in junior school and a toddler starting nursery in September, – but if we can’t find somewhere soon they’ll have to move schools.’

A surfer walks past the vandalised property, located a stone's throw from the beach as Cornish residents voice their fury at the rental market

A surfer walks past the vandalised property, located a stone’s throw from the beach as Cornish residents voice their fury at the rental market

Being unable to store food anywhere has left organising meals extremely difficult as they have to take a daily trip to the shops. 

‘We then cook the food from that shop at mums and do it all again the next day,’ she said,

‘I don’t know what we’d do if we didn’t have mum’s place because as soon as we wake up in the morning that’s where we go.

‘We then only come back to the Travelodge to sleep otherwise it’s just too much.’

Ms Pascoe has struggled bringing up two-year-old Darcy in the Travelodge as the noise from other rooms and the car park stops her from getting to sleep.

A map showing the most sought-after second home towns for British city dwellers, with Cornwall's Falmouth, St Ives, and Newquay all within the top six in demand

A map showing the most sought-after second home towns for British city dwellers, with Cornwall’s Falmouth, St Ives, and Newquay all within the top six in demand

The hotel staff are sympathetic to her situation, and allow Kieran and Freya to watch TV out in the cafe area whilst Ms Pascoe puts her to bed.

Currently Ms Pascoe is paying £3.10 per night as a service charge for the room, and Cornwall Council are covering the rest.

But the mother-of-three has found communicating with the council difficult and she claims she is rarely updated on their living situation.

She has to find out from reception staff every three weeks whether payment for the room has been extended which she finds extremely stressful.

‘Having a two-year-old is a complete nightmare as everything is in her reach,’ Ms Pascoe said.

‘She either stays in her travel cot or her portable high chair when we’re in the room, as it’s to dangerous to let her crawl around.

Ms Pascoe praised the efforts of the hotel staff who have been on hand to help. 

‘They are the ones I ask about updates on our situation as the housing team at the council barely respond to my queries,’ she said.

‘At the minute they’re paying for the room, but there is a service charge I’ll have to reimburse them with at some point.

‘I’ve worked out it should be around £350 by now – but again, I’ve had no communication from them about when this is to be paid.’

Renting privately is too expensive for Ms Pascoe who fears she has limited options now. 

‘All I can do is keep looking for council housing in the hope that I get lucky – although at the minute it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel,’ she said. 

Thee average cost of a property to rent in St Blazey is £950.97 per month, according to Houses for Sale & to Rent.

Families across the UK in other popular tourist destinations are also being driven out of their homes as second home buyers flock to the market.

In June, a nurse and her firefighter fiance revealed that they could no longer afford to live in the seaside town of Dorset due to the soaring rents caused by the influx of second homes.      

Cornwall Council has been approached for comment.

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