Lake District town homes project for residents hailed by MP

Trudy Harrison visits Keswick Community Housing Trust’s Southey Court development

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison congratulated the team behind a successful community housing project in Keswick.

Ms Harrison sat down with Bill Bewley, Benita Lapthorn and Joyce Swainbank, of Keswick Community Housing Trust, for a tour of three of his projects at The Hopes, Banks Court and Southey Court, and to learn more about the trust’s work.

Born out of an identified lack of affordable housing in the city in 2010, KCHT has today developed and managed 40 housing units across its four sites. Ranging from the family house to the individual apartment by associating rental and joint ownership, all the dwellings are occupied by local populations and other developments are in progress.

Ms Harrison said: “I would like to thank Bill, Benita and Joyce for showing me around the fabulous community housing projects the trust is responsible for; they are justifiably proud of all they have accomplished as volunteers so far – and of the tremendous benefits the houses bring to local families and individuals.

“Credit also goes to the quality of design and manufacturing that went into the developments; which have all been made with taste and with sympathy for their surroundings.

Whenever a house under its management becomes available, the trust advertises the vacancy locally before using its interview and selection process to fill it.

Bill, chairman of the trust, said: “We were delighted to be able to show Trudy three of our developments and to discuss, in depth, the ongoing housing challenges faced here in Keswick.

“We are encouraged that our MPs, including Trudy, are looking at ways to address the current imbalance in the housing market in property hotspots like Keswick.

“The trust has made a small but significant contribution to addressing the lack of affordable housing in Keswick. We are experiencing an extremely low level of turnover at our properties and have just awarded a three bedroom property in our Southey Court development which has attracted 21 applicants, many of whom we wish we could have helped.

“We would like to have more houses available; the level of demand we continue to encounter whenever a property becomes available reaffirms our commitment to trying to develop more homes for the people of Keswick.

For more information on the trust, visit www.keswickcommunityhousingtrust.co.uk

Daniel E. Murphy