Prince of Wales said he plans to start small and scale up the social housing if it’s “sustainable”
Prince William plans to build social housing on his 130,000-acre Duchy of Cornwall estate as part of a five-year plan to “end homelessness”.
The Prince of Wales said he wanted to “start small” by building social housing on his land, and would then scale it up if it works.
“The key thing is making this sustainable,” he told the Sunday Times. “It’s all very well doing big gestures, but there’s no point if … there’s no future to it.”
He told the newspaper he is determined to “make a difference … that doesn’t set people up that are homeless for another fall”.
The heir to the throne, who has a number of residences including at Kensington Palace, Windsor and Sandringham, described himself as an “unlikely advocate for this cause”.
He plans to launch the project to “end homelessness” from the Royal Foundation he runs with his wife, The Princess of Wales, later this month.
In the interview, he said he hopes it will have a “tangible impact” and provide “living conditions up and down the country that improve people’s lives who need that first rung of the ladder”.
Prince William said he recently met housing secretary Michael Gove and Labour leader Keir Starmer to brief them on his plans.
“I’m not here to talk about government policy,” he said. “My plan is an additive to what is already being done.”
“It’s not insurmountable, this challenge. If anyone does become homeless [we can say], ‘OK, here’s the way back, here’s the pathway’.”
Prince William gained control over the Duchy estate, which stretches from Cornwall to Kent, upon his father’s ascension to the throne last year. Revenue from the estate is used to fund public, private and charitable activities.
When King Charles was prince, his Poundbury project was built on Duchy of Cornwall land in Dorset, according to principles of architecture and urban planning he advocated.
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Duchy estate said she had no further details to add.