Wages in Devon are below the national average but house prices here are higher than the national average. As a result, many families struggle to make their way onto the housing ladder. Although planning decisions are taken by local district and borough councils, Mel has done what he can to support the building of affordable housing, either through the creation of Community Land Trusts or as a part of a larger development. As a Treasury Minister he helped to increase national funding for affordable housing from £7billion to £9billion.
More than a thousand residents in Central Devon live in park home communities and Mel has helped lead efforts in Westminster to strengthen their legal rights as a key contributor to the 2012 Mobile Homes Act. The legislation included greater legal protections against unjustified pitch fee increases and greater enforcement powers for local authorities when it comes to ensuring landlords properly maintain their sites. He was instrumental in helping residents in Buckingham Orchard in Chudleigh Knighton set up a Residents' Association, helped residents in Pathfinder Village to return their GP surgery and has helped residents in New Park, Bovey Tracey, with various issues over many years.