An affordable housing charity will use a generous bequest of £30,000 to help with the construction of two new cottages.
The Lakeland Housing Trust (LHT) was left the money by long-term trustee Kathleen Atkinson, who died aged 84 in April last year.
The charity, which provides rented homes for local people who cannot afford to buy or long-term rent accommodation in the Lake District, will use the money to assist with the construction of two traditional cottages at Grasmere and the full renovation of a property at Sawrey.
Malcolm Tillyer, LHT chairman, said: “Kathleen was passionate about providing affordable housing for local people and she was a wonderful trustee for nearly 20 years.
"She chaired our Rents and Tenancy Group for a long period and was genuinely interested in our tenants and got to know many of them personally.
"Kathleen sadly died in April 2020, aged 84, and it was a wonderful gesture to so generously bequeath this significant sum to the trust.”
Mr Tillyer said the "inevitable growth of second home ownership" had made the problem of a lack of affordable homes for local people "even more acute."
"The trust is committed to doing all it can to help address the problem," he said.
"We have grown significantly over the last few years – primarily as a result of the generosity of local people who have bequeathed their houses to the trust or, like Kathleen, left financial bequests."
Ms Atkinson lived in Windermere for more than 50 years.
She was brought to the town by a research job at the Institute of Freshwater Ecology, based at Ferry House.
She worked at the institute from 1961 to 1995.
Ms Atkinson was the secretary of state-appointed member of the Lake District Special Planning Board from 1986 to 1997, and spent time as an invited member of the Environment Agency Regional Environment Protection Advisory Committee.
She served as a trustee of the Rivington Heritage Trust from 1997 to 2010, Friends of the Lake District from 2003 to 2013 and the Lakeland Housing Trust from 1999 to 2018.
Article By Joe Fletcher Reporter
AN AFFORDABLE homes charity is to expand its portfolio of properties after receiving £750,000 in funding.
The Lakeland Housing Trust (LHT) is using the loan from Unity Trust Bank (UTB) to build new properties and make improvements to others.
The Kendal-based charity owns 49 properties, and tenancies are only offered to local people who cannot afford to buy or rent in the region.
Malcolm Tillyer, LHT chairman, said: “We are based in a beautiful part of the country and tourism plays a major role in supporting the local economy.
However, the downside of this growth in second-home ownership is that house prices are no longer affordable for local people, particularly the young.
“Many have had to leave their beloved Lakes, which is sad.”
The loan money will be used to build two three-bedroom semi-detached properties at Grasmere, renovate a house at Sawrey and make improvements to other properties. A £60,000 legacy, as well as the proceeds of a house in Grasmere which was bequeathed to the charity, are also being used to fund the work.
An LHT spokeswoman said spiralling house prices had ‘long been an issue in the Lake District’ and that second homes accounted for ‘80 per cent of all houses in some villages’.
Mr Tillyer said: “Some people have seen properties being sold as second homes and witnessed the loss of local communities, so have generously bequeathed their home to us so that it will be lived in by deserving locals.”
Ian Heesom, relationship manager at UTB, emphasised that a lack of affordable housing was a particular problem in tourist destinations such as the Lake District.
Mr Heesom said: “UTB is committed to helping organisations that share our values in wanting to make a difference to the communities we serve and create a better society.”
Mr Tillyer said UTB’s ‘ethos’ made it an ‘obvious choice’ for the trust when it was seeking loan funding.
Article written by Joe Fletcher, Westmorland Gazette
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A GENEROUS £64,000 bequest from a Kendal man came as a very welcome surprise to an affordable homes charity which has also benefited from the receipt of a ‘beautiful’ Grade II-listed property.
The money was left to the Kendal-based Lakeland Housing Trust (LHT) by Barry Gooderham, who died aged 71 in 2018.
Malcolm Tillyer, chairman of LHT, which provides affordable rented homes for local people who cannot afford to live elsewhere, said it was ‘unusual’ for the trust to receive a cash donation of that size.
“It’s great because we have got plans to develop more properties, build more properties and this is a significant sum of money that can help us get to where we want to be. We have got plans to build a couple of properties in Grasmere so this money will help there,” he said.
“It was a really pleasant surprise and has come at a time when everyone’s struggling at the moment and any funds that can help us move forward are very welcome.”
Mr Gooderham, who worked for Barclays, was originally from Lytham St Annes but moved to Kendal in the 1990s. After taking early retirement he remained very active, walking, cycling, learning to play the trumpet and singing with Kendal Choral Society.
He also volunteered with Citizens Advice, spending a lot of time talking to people who were struggling financially and were unable to pay their mortgages or the rent on their homes. It is believed this is what led Mr Gooderham to leave money to LHT.
The money is one of two pieces of good news for the trust at the moment, with it being handed Grade II-listed Grandy Nook on Low Fellside, Kendal, as well as the cottage which sits behind it.
It was entrusted to LHT by the Kendal and Sedbergh Quakers. The Quakers received it in 1971 and had it converted into flats for people of modest means.
Mr Tillyer said: “I am very grateful to the Kendal and Sedbergh Quakers for entrusting such a significant property into the care of the Lakeland Housing Trust. Our charitable objectives are very similar and the property will continue to be offered to local people who cannot afford to rent or buy locally.”
Article written by Joe Fletcher, Westmorland Gazette
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