Cumbria Crack

Funding secured for mortgage free homes in Kirkby Stephen

A new form of housing aimed at people who are struggling to get on the housing ladder has secured funding. Cumbrian based eQuality Homes have had a bid to deliver a cooperative housing development in Kirkby Stephen approved by Homes England.

This funding means that the team at eQuality Homes can move forward with plans to develop the scheme, and arrangements are already underway to tender for a partner to help deliver the project.

A key selling point of the housing scheme will be that the residents will become members of the cooperative that owns the houses giving them a voice on how the scheme is run, and a vote on key matters relating to the cooperative. The scheme will provide residents with a home for life that they decorate and personalise, live in rent-free once their share of costs is paid, and even leave to their children.

In October 2018, eQuality Homes carried out a survey where 94% of respondents agreed that Kirkby Stephen needed more housing to be made available to local people who are unable to buy or rent suitable homes at an affordable price. A key focus of the eQuality Homes Cooperative is to make housing more accessible to those who are unable to buy their own house by building homes that offer low rents, a secure tenancy, and rent-free living in the long-term.

Tom Woof, founding member of the eQuality Homes Cooperative says; “We are thrilled to have secured this vital funding from Homes England and are excited to start work on delivering affordable homes to people in Cumbria, starting with Kirkby Stephen. As part of the initial redevelopment phase of the project, we are seeking a partner to help deliver services and urge any interested parties to tender for the opportunity to work with us via our website.”

Craig Bradley, Specialist for Home Ownership and Supply at Homes England added; “We’re committed to ensuring more affordable homes are built in the places where people want to live. Housing affordability is an issue for those living in Kirkby Stephen, so we’re pleased to be able to support the development of this innovative proposal through our Community Housing Fund.”

To find out more about eQuality Homes, and to apply for a place on the waiting list, visit

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