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Annual report, housing

One of the main aims of the council is to provide homes to meet needs. SLDC have produced detailed development briefs for eight key sites across South Lakeland to encourage and attract housing developers to invest. These briefs have given guidance for developers on issues such as design, access, layouts and green spaces. Recent adopted development briefs include sites at Burton-in-Kendal, Endmoor and Milnthorpe. The organisation continues to receive CIL payments which support us in developing our programme of investment in support of the Local Plan objectives.

Performance on Housing priorities

In December 2017 District Councillors agreed to a £6 million loan fund which will support developers to build more affordable housing across South Lakeland. This scheme will enable housing associations to access low rate finance support from the council to develop affordable housing. In exchange the council receives a financial return from the repayment of the loans. This scheme was agreed following a Strategic Housing Market Assessment which identified that up to 320 new homes need to be built every year across South Lakeland, of which up to 290 new properties are required annually in our planning area outside the Lake District National Park.

Since January 2017 the number of homeless applications had increased from 61 to 167 in January 2018. From January 2018 the homelessness team have undertaken outreach sessions at various location across the District offering a range of advice including tenancy support, money advice and emergency accommodation.

SLDC first launched the Handy Person Scheme in 2014 on a three year contract. This scheme provides support for elderly or vulnerable residents to carry out simple but essential work on their homes. To date 1,800 tasks have been completed. Following the schemes success SLDC decided to continue the scheme for a further 12 months to support local communities.

Work is limited to three hours and eligible households can use the scheme up to six times a year. Residents only pay for the materials required.

South Lakeland District Council supported the rural broadband project across New Hutton, Old Hutton and Holmescales and Preston Patrick connecting homes and businesses. More than 250 properties in these three rural parishes now have access to superfast broadband. Volunteers from the Broadband for South Westmorland (B4SW) helped install the special cabinet located in New Hutton.

Historic England undertook an assessment on one of South Lakelands most historic villages, Burton in Kendal to find buildings were at risk of losing their historic value. SLDC are now working with Historic England and Burton in Kendal Parish Council to have the conservation area removed from the heritage at risk register. We will contribute £35,000 per year for three years to help residents fund their repair and restoration projects. SLDC have also granted a further £17,000 to the Parish Council to be spent within the conservation area.

Highlights

  • 90% of two bedroomed new built houses were bought by first time buyers
  • Arnside Educational Institute received £9,500 grant for renovation
  • prevented 243 households becoming homeless
  • 70% of new build buyers moved from within the district
  • 510 homelessness cases managed
  • 400 affordable homes to rent built since 2014
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