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MP welcomes decision to build 60 affordable homes but much more needs to be done

November 18, 2011 11:26 AM

TF 9South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today welcomed the news that South Lakeland District and the National Park authorities have been able to secure funds for a further 60 affordable homes but he has said that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Tim has been pressuring Cumbria County Council in conjunction with Lakes Parish Council and Ambleside councillor Heidi Halliday to force them to sell the Wanless Howe site. They have finally agreed to sell this site to Thomas Armstrong Limited. An agreement has been drawn up with Impact Housing association which will enable 14 affordable homes to be provided which would be funded from a subsidy from the government.

The council is also working with the National Park authorities on developments at Guldrey Depot, Sedbergh which would provide 12 affordable homes and Broadgate, Grasmere - which is currently awaiting planning application decision - to secure a further 15 affordable homes.

Tim recently launched the Home Truths report in Kendal with the National Housing Federation which concludes that nearly 5,000 families in Furness andSouth Lakeland are on the social housing waiting list. At the current rate it would take 66,458 years to clear the backlog of people on waiting lists within the county.

The issue is compounded by the fact that average house costs outside the national park are nine times local people's average wages. Inside the national park the disparity is much higher.

Tim Farron has been working on projects to bring empty homes back into use like onMintsfeet Roadin Kendal and at the Ironworks in Backbarrow; and utilising brown field sites like the current Auction Mart site in Kendal which will made redundant when the mart moves to Crooklands. Tim has recently forced the government to look at ending the mandatory discount for second home owners after a long campaign.

Tim commented: "The news that we will build 60 more affordable homes is a great step but much more is needed. There is a chronic need for housing in our area. But we need the right kind of housing - social housing, truly affordable housing and homes for local families. I will continue to do all I can to push the council and others to do more for local families and I will continue to champion the need for truly affordable homes in areas that the local community supports. Much has been done but as this report shows there is much, much more left to do."