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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Housing scheme becomes party policy

A SCHEME created to tackle the affordable housing problem in South Lakeland has been adopted on a national level and is to form part of a political party’s election pledge.

Liberal Democrat Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, devised the Home on the Farm scheme to convert disused and underused farm buildings into homes that people living in the district can afford to buy.

The party was impressed by the success of the policy and has now made it part of its manifesto for the general election.

Mr Farron said the Home on the Farm scheme is a useful way of meeting the “desperate need” for affordable housing in South Lakeland, where, he said, the average house price is £250,000 and the average wage is £17,000.

He said: “It’s vital we take practical steps to tackle this challenge. I’m delighted that a scheme that began here in the South Lakeland has now become national Liberal Democrat policy.

“Thirty percent of young people in South Lakeland leave the area and never come back because they are unable to get on the housing ladder. Our Home on the Farm scheme will help provide the affordable housing that will stop that trend.”

The scheme has also been adopted by the Welsh Assembly and South Lakeland District Council has agreed to make it part of its policy.

It is the first council in the country to do so.

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