COPELAND Council is partnering in an exciting new Cumbria and Lancaster Community Led Housing Hub.
The hub encourages communities to combat housing problems in their areas focusing on their individual needs and options available to them. It puts communities in touch with funding sources and can introduce them to specialist advisors.
One example of a successful community-led housing initiative is a scheme run by residents in Ulpha.
Copeland Borough Council awarded £73,500, earlier this year, to support the project in which the historical cottages are owned and managed by the Joseph and Eleanor Gunson Almshouse Trust and offer social housing for local people in need.
All current residents are over 65 and typically have retired from the farming or forestry industries where accommodation would have been included with their role. The cottages allow these residents to stay within the community, close to friends and family.
The properties were built in village of Ulpha, in the Duddon Valley, in 1914 and are in need of substantial upgrading to meet modern housing standards.
Two houses have already been upgraded in 2017 with refurbishments including kitchen modernisation, external wall insulation and redecoration throughout.
Grants from Copeland Council, and CGP Publishing, will see two more cottages fully refurbished and a further three bathrooms out of the 10 cottages modernised. The trust hopes to refurbish the remaining properties with its annual surplus collected through weekly maintenance contributions from residents and other fundraising initiatives.
Councillor Mike McVeigh, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Housing, said: “One issue we see most commonly is affordable housing, which is not unique to our borough, affecting people across the UK.
“It is often the people within the community that know the area and their local housing market that have the most innovative and creative solutions to these problems.
“We encourage individuals, community groups and organisations to explore the new hub website to see if they could benefit from the range of tools on offer to tackle housing issues in their area.”
Cumbria and Lancaster Housing Hub is hosted by ACT, a community development charity, and funded by six local planning authorities.
Partners of the Cumbria and Lancaster Housing Hub are; Copeland Borough Council, Allerdale Borough Council, Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council, Lancaster City Council and South Lakeland District Council.
To visit the Cumbria and Lancaster Housing Hub go to www.clhhub.org.uk.