Duchy development: Prince William’s plan to end UK homelessness

Prince William will build 24 homes in the Duchy of Cornwall as part of a commitment to eradicate homelessness in the United Kingdom.

About eight months ago, the heir to the throne initiated Homewards, an ambitious scheme aimed at ensuring everyone in the UK has a place to call home. 

According to Architectural Digest, Prince William recently unveiled the first project of his five-year strategy.

In an effort to address the housing crisis, 24 homes will be constructed on the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate owned by the royal family since 1337 when Edward III founded it for his son, Prince Edward. 

This tradition has continued, with the estate being passed down to the eldest surviving son of the monarch, who is also the heir apparent. 

The Duchy spans 129,604 acres across 20 counties in the southwestern part of England, housing a year-round population of 22,000, which increases to 100,000 during the summer months. 

The construction of the 24 homes is projected to cost US$4 million, with work beginning in September this year and completion expected by the autumn of 2025.

Prince William aims to work closely with local communities to tailor the project to their specific needs. 

The initiative has partnered with St Petrocs, a charity dedicated to combating homelessness in Cornwall. 

In addition to providing the land, Prince William and the Duchy will contribute design and development management expertise to the project.

In June 2023, Prince William expressed his conviction that homelessness could be made “rare, brief, and non-recurring” through collective effort. 

His passion for the cause is deeply rooted in his childhood experiences, influenced by his late mother, Princess Diana, who exposed him and his brother Harry to the realities of homelessness. 

These early experiences have left a lasting impression on Prince William, who has actively engaged with the issue, including sleeping on the streets of South London in 2009 to raise awareness and supporting magazines that aid the homeless.

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