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Monday, 23 October 2017

Andy Lloyd

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Cumbria Community Land Trust Case Studies

Keswick Community Housing Trust (KCHT)

 

Allerdale District

www.keswickcommunityhousingtrust.co.uk

Town population: 4,821

 

Origin: In 2009 members of Keswick Churches Together consulted their community and identified the shortage of local affordable homes as the top concern and decided to take practical action. The town has a low wage, tourism and retail based economy and a long standing shortage of affordable homes. Most of the council housing was sold off through the ‘right to buy’ with many of these becoming second homes. With the help of the local CLT enabler, Andy Lloyd and Impact Housing Association, having started with no money, land or experience the community built their first scheme of eleven affordable homes at The Hopes. They have since gone on to convert four flats for single people at Banks Court, and are currently constructing twenty two more homes at Calvert Way.

Photo courtesy of the Keswick Reminder. December 2013 opening of the The Hopes scheme.

 

Chair Bill Bewley says “This has been a real team effort with every trustee playing an important part. We know the lack of affordable homes is an issue for many communities. This affects families, employers and employees, and results in crazy situations where even people on reasonable middle incomes spend large chunks of their time and money travelling back to places of work – as happens with teachers at Keswick School. It’s common sense to see that new secure affordable homes will have a stabilising effect on the whole community. So we are very keen to help others achieve what we have!”

 

The Trustees motivation was to:

 

a) Provide affordable homes in Keswick which would be protected for future generations. 

b) Maximise affordability – keeping rents low and, for shared ownership, selling a higher share instead of charging rent on top of a mortgage.

c) Act as champions for affordable housing increasing support within the community

 

Company form: Registered Society with exempt charity status able to raise investment via community shares and to receive charitable donations. 

 

Type of CLT: ‘hands on’ developing and owning their own schemes.

 

Housing management: The Trust budgeted to contract out housing management to a Housing Association but have opted to manage the homes themselves for now.

 

Scheme 1 – The Hopes: 

Photo: Andy Lloyd with residents Gary and Lucy Wilson and children, and chairman Bill Bewley. The Wilsons “We have a beautiful home with plenty of space especially for the children. A private garden has been the icing on the cake. We would thoroughly recommend buying from a CLT as it is the only way we could have any form of ownership in Keswick.”

The land: St John’s Church recommended that the Diocese should sell part of the graveyard which was unsuitable for burial. 11 plots were sold at £10,000 each which enabled the homes to be affordable and provided the Church with an endowment for the upkeep of the graveyard.

 

The scheme:

11 three bedroom homes 85m2 each

1 local occupancy for sale for cross subsidy

5 rented homes c £500pm

5 shared ownership homes 50% market value £110,000ea with no rent charged on unsold equity.

 

Unique aspects: 

a) St John’s Church persuaded Carlisle Diocese to sell land unsuitable for burial to the trust.

b) The Trust raised £60,000 towards purchase of the site via a community share issue. 

c) No rent is charged on the unsold equity for the shared ownership homes.

 

Project support: CLT enabler Andy Lloyd and Impact Housing Association

Project management: KCHT

Legals: Anthony Collins, Brockbanks

Architect: Day Cummins

QS: Donleys

Constructor: Atkinsons

 

Finance: Start up - CLT Network, Local Authority, Town Council, local charities. Development – Homes and Communities Agency grant, sales of shared ownership and local occupancy homes, Cumberland Building Society development loan and residual mortgage repaid through rents.

 

Economic benefit: The scheme put £1.4m into the local economy. The affordability and low running cost of the homes released disposable income for the families.

 

Scheme 2 - Banks Court:

 

Photo: September 2015 opening: KCHT Trustee Jo Brand, chairman Bill Bewley, Trustee Wendy Bewley with Graeme Wilson, Head of Housing and Health, Allerdale Borough Council 

 

Details

4 single persons flats rents £320pm

 

Unique aspect: On the strength of the success of The Hopes Allerdale Borough Council made an asset transfer of Banks Court toilet block for £1 which the Trust converted to four single persons flats.

 

Project management: KCHT

 

Constructor: Atkinsons

 

Finance: Homes and Communities Agency grant, Cumberland Building Society loan.

 

 

Scheme 3 - Calvert Way: 

 

 

 

Half way through construction at the time of writing, a new estate of 55 houses includes 22 which will be owned and managed by Keswick Community Housing Trust. KCHT has been working alongside Impact Housing who will also provide 23 houses for rental. There has already been a lot of interest in Calvert Way - thanks to the success of their first venture at The Hopes and due to the need that exists in the community, the Trust the Trust has received 110 applications - five for every home  being built.

The land: The opportunity arose through the relationships already established with Impact HA and Atkinsons Construction. Atkinsons had secured the site and invited Impact HA to take on the affordable homes. Impact then invited KCHT to develop half of the site.

 

The scheme:

22 homes - 11 rented / 11 shared ownership

 

Project management: KCHT

Architect: Day Cummins

Constructor: Atkinsons

 

Finance: Homes and Communities Agency grant, sales, Unity Trust Bank development loan and residual mortgage.

 

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