How a plot of unused church land helped families priced out of the housing market

St John’s Church in Keswick in the Lake District made half a hectare of land next to its graveyard that was too stony and waterlogged for burials available to the town’s then newly-formed Community Housing Trust.

The land now has 11 three-bedroomed houses and the trust has gone on to build a further 30 homes in the town on other plots. The latest four – three, three-bedroomed houses and one two-bedroom house – were built on land provided by the Methodist Church on the site of a demolished church hall.

Around half the homes built by the trust are for shared ownership and the other half are let out at rents that are truly affordable in perpetuity – measured in relation to local earnings, not market rents.

Bill Bewley, the Chair of Keswick Community Housing Trust, believes that up to 200 people have been housed as a result of the trust’s work so far with further potential plots of land for housing being explored.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Stewardship