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Lakeland Housing Trust

Grandy Nook, Kendal, a Lakeland Housing Trust property
A Lakeland Housing Trust property in Kendall H&H Land & Estates

Amidst an unrelenting affordable housing crisis, it’s important to highlight the people, groups and organisations across England who have found sustainable solutions. Lakeland Housing Trust is no exception, providing homes for people who need them at affordable prices, and in line with local need.

The Lakeland Housing Trust was founded in 1937 by a group of forward-thinking individuals to ensure that workers and their families in the Lake District had a place to call home. Properties owned by the Trust are for local people in Central and South Lakes, with homes in Ambleside, Coniston, Grasmere, Hawkshead, Sawrey, Troutbeck, Broughton and Kendal. These homes have been purchased, bequeathed, and built to ensure that there are affordable homes for local people who need them most.

Currently the Trust owns 53 properties, all of which are at genuinely affordable rents for local people. Lakeland Housing Trust believes that the government definition of affordable rent, 80% of market value is not affordable, and aim to help residents with the cost of living and with forward planning. To give an example of the affordable rents under the Lakeland Housing Trust, a 3-bedroom cottage is £600pcm compared to £1,400pcm on the open market.

Thriving Lake District

Former residents speak fondly of the Trust’s services, with resoundingly positive testimonials: ‘The Lakeland Housing Trust have been fantastic, enabling me to live in a wonderful property in the area I was raised in for almost 8 years’, says one. ‘I will really miss my home, but I know it will be a wonderful place for other locals to stay and keep the Lake District thriving.’

For another, living in a Trust property helped them financially. ‘I would like to thank the Lakeland Housing Trust for giving us the opportunity to live in one of your properties… the very reasonable rent has provided us time to build a deposit. Our aim was to own our own home which with your help we have achieved.’

Homes for people who need them

To qualify for a Lakeland Housing Trust home, prospective residents fill out an application form which covers whether they live locally, their needs and their financial situation. This is to ensure that homes are provided to those who need them most, giving them security and stability. Due to the stability the Trust provides, many residents stay in their homes for a long time.

Ensuring the properties are fit for the future, the Trust is in the process of making all their homes as energy efficient as possible. Despite the cost involved, the Trust is committed to sustainability, spending approximately £50-60,000 on each property, providing better insulation and double glazing. Improving older single walled properties is proving challenging due to their nature and size.

Affordable for thriving communities

Throughout Lakeland Housing Trust’s history, housing has been in short supply, and the current rise in short-term lets and second homes is further impacting the housing supply around the Lake District, forcing those who live and work locally out of their communities. To combat this, the Trust protects properties at an affordable level. This means that families can live in the areas they were raised and work in, keeping communities alive and thriving.

To find out more about the Lakeland Housing Trust you can visit their website. For media enquiries, contact Jen Braithwaite.

Fixing the broken housing system

CPRE believes the housing system in rural England is broken, and large-scale developers are not delivering for the needs of the local people. We are now calling on the next government to amend the official definition of ‘affordable housing’ to be in line with local incomes, and not market rates. The next government needs to create a new affordable homes in rural areas, including on rural exception sites. We have also actively campaigned to introduce second home and short-term lets register, with rules in place to ensure conversions to short-term lets require planning permission.

Find out more over on our rural affordable housing campaign page.