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SLDC grant helps secure more affordable housing

Jonathan Brook

Six properties are to become affordable homes – and the risk of homelessness removed from elderly and disabled people living in them – thanks in part to a £282,000 grant from South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

SLDC’s Cabinet agreed to the move today after hearing that South Lakes Housing (SLH) wanted to buy the six homes at Railway Cottages, Newby Bridge.

Councillors were told that SLH had been approached to buy the houses and had agreed to do so if extra funding could be secured from Homes England and SLDC.

They would then be able to improve the homes to a decent standard and homelessness for the current residents would be prevented.

The grant was unanimously backed at Cabinet after Councillor Jonathan Brook, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Innovation, told the meeting: “There is an overwhelming case for us to take this action. This grant provides a very good outcome, particularly for the residents, for SLH and for us in enabling an addition to the stock of homes locally available to rent.”

Cllr Brook said after the meeting: “The purchase of these six properties is in line with our Council Plan target to have facilitated 1,000 affordable homes to rent in the district by 2025, as well as the council’s Housing Strategy, will prevent homelessness of potentially very vulnerable tenants, and provide suitable homes to a decent standard in the area in the long term.”

“This is a significant amount of money but investment which will make a significant improvement to the availability of affordable housing in the district.”

Cabinet heard that there were 45 households on the Housing Register for the Newby Bridge area, including Backbarrow, Cark-in-Cartmel, Haverthwaite and Hawkshead, at March this year.

Originally, the development comprised of 12 properties being held as an investment over time. As the properties became vacant, six were sold, the majority of which are now used as holiday homes.

A report before the cabinet said the remaining six properties were in a poor state of repair internally and the tenants, some of whom are registered disabled, are long-term residents aged between 65 and 80. The report  also said that the tenants would move to assured tenancies and welcomed the planned improvements.

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