Keswick Community Housing Trust Praised By Copeland MP

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

Mrs Harrison met with Bill Bewley, Benita Lapthorn and Joyce Swainbank, of Keswick Community Housing Trust (KCHT), for a tour of three of its projects at The Hopes, Banks Court and Southey Court, and to find out more about the Trust’s work.

Mrs Harrison said: “I’d like to thank Bill, Benita and Joyce for showing me around the fabulous community housing projects the Trust has been responsible for; they are rightly proud of all they have achieved as volunteers so far – and of the tremendous benefits the homes are bringing local families and individuals.

“Credit too goes to the quality of the design and workmanship that has gone into the developments; all of which have been done tastefully and sympathetically to their surroundings.”

Born out of an identified lack of affordable housing in the town in 2010, KCHT has now developed and manages 40 homes across its four sites.

Ranging from family homes to single-occupancy flats in a combination of rentals and shared ownership, all the homes are occupied by local people, and further developments are in the pipeline.

Each time a home under its management becomes available, KCHT advertises the vacancy locally before using its interview and selection process to occupy it.

Bill Bewley, Chair of KCHT, said: “We were pleased to be able to show Trudy around three of our developments and to discuss, in some depth, the ongoing housing challenges experienced here in Keswick.

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

“KCHT has made a small, but not insignificant, contribution to addressing the lack of affordable housing in Keswick. We experience an extremely low level of turnover in our properties and have just allocated a three-bed property in our Southey Court development that attracted 21 applicants, many of whom we wished we could have helped.

“We wish we had more homes available; the level of demand that we continue to experience whenever a property comes available reaffirms our commitment to try and develop more homes for the people of Keswick.”

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