Author Archives: eden_housing

Appleby’s new residents celebrate in Rural Housing Week

12th July 2016

This week (11-17th July) is Rural Housing Week. Eden Housing Association (EHA) is using the week as a platform to shine the spotlight on new affordable rural homes in Appleby. Two of seven new homes have just been released to local working families.

Rural Housing Week is focusing on issues of affordable homes and aspirations for a living, working countryside. John Clasper Managing Director at EHA said “National census figures highlight that more than 1 in 5 of England’s population live in rural areas. Eden District is the least populated district in England, with just 25 people per sq. km – that makes us entirely rural. Support for rural communities has never been more important.

“There is evidence that people are choosing to move way from rural areas because of the shortage of affordable rural homes and the cost of living there. We need new affordable rented homes right across our district. According to statistics, in some rural areas, only 1/5th of the homes needed have been built in the last 5 years*.”

New housing in market towns and villages is vital for the survival of rural communities and services. Not only are housing associations helping local people to continue to live in the same area as their friends and family, they are also helping to preserve the economic viability of rural communities, by ensuring continued demand for key services such as shops, schools, post offices and pubs.

Appleby’s new ‘Orchard Place’ development from Story Homes is a mixed scheme of 142 dwellings, nineteen of which are designated as ‘affordable homes’ shared between Eden Housing and Two Castles Housing Associations. Eden Housing Association has seven of these properties; a mix of two and three bedroomed homes being offered in three phases.

Two local families have just moved in to the first two homes which have two bedrooms, a garden and off street parking. The affordable homes are intermingled throughout the new development to help create a strong community feel.

Thomas and Kim Airey, their 12 year old son TJ and sheepdog Nell moved to their new home just three weeks ago. Kim said “It’s like a dream come true. It’s everything I could have wanted and I already feel it’s my forever home.”

Kim works as a nursery nurse and Tom is a self-employed stonemason. In the past they’ve looked at buying a home, but because Tom is self-employed, getting a mortgage was difficult.

“We’ve been living in private rented properties in and around Appleby for years, but they never feel like your own home. The rents are high and the quality is not always great. It’s also not easy when you have a family pet. We have tried for other properties before and I’ve been watching the Orchard Place progress since the development began, so I was very quick to bid for one when they came on the Choice Based Letting system.”

The bid response was stronger than normal for a home in Appleby, mainly because it is a new build that’s part of a mixed development. There was a local occupancy clause on the homes, which meant local families were priority. Both homes have been let to local families who work in Appleby area.

Tom Airey said “It’s a great move for us and we already feel part of the community. TJ has made new friends on the estate already and I’ve been playing darts and dominoes at the Royal Oak for over a year, so it’s now just a quick walk from home. We feel very settled and very lucky and are looking forward to the rest of the development filling up.”

The next phase of EHA’s affordable housing in Appleby is the release of two more two bedroomed homes in early August, with two three bedroomed homes being offered at the end of August. Anyone interested in applying for the new homes should keep reviewing the Cumbria Choice Based Lettings website


John Clasper MD at EHA attended the Rural Housing Conference this week and has also been asked to write a blog which will include the new Appleby development and the difficulties and practicalities of providing services in a rural area. #ruralhousingweek.


Thomas, TJ and Kim Airey outside their new home with Nell their sheepdog

Thomas, TJ and Kim Airey outside their new home with Nell their sheepdog


For more info or more images contact Tracey Errington on 01768 895 964 or 07799 640 290 or email [email protected]



Family Fun Day is a winner with Dad’s and raises money for charity

28th June 2016

Family Fun Day is a winner with Dads and raises money too

Families pitched up at Penrith RUFC on Father’s Day for a Family Fun Event and car boot sale organised by Eden Housing Association (EHA), and ‘ECHO’ – their Residents Assembly. The aim was to create a value for money event focusing on craft and activities to entertain families and raise money for charity.

Families from across Eden enjoyed a wide variety of activities including huck-a-duck, tombola’s, designing a crown, jewellery making, trying the disability games, letting off steam on the bouncy castle and meeting the police and fire services. All activities were kept to £1 or less to ensure the best value for families, but also raising money for EHA’s nominated charity Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.

Sarah Bowman, Community Development Officer at Eden Housing Association said “This is the fifth Fun Day we have run, but the first on Father’s Day so we wanted to add in a few new activities that Dad’s might enjoy. There was Ernies Shed’, old ironwork display and Eden Valley Model Aero Club, plus Pete Osborn the wood turner who demonstrated making spinning tops for the kids, the team from PACT (Penrith Action for Community Transition) who highlighted lots of really useful recycling ideas, Silverband Falconry plus plenty of opportunity to play bows and arrows with the kids.

“This year the event was held 10am – 1pm with the car boot well attended all morning. We are delighted that we managed to raise £747.75 for Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland and the great North Air Ambulance.

For more information about working in communities with Eden Housing Association contact Jenny Webb on 01768 861435 or Sarah Bowman on 01768 861417 or email [email protected].


For information about this press release or for high res images contact Tracey Errington on 07799 640 290 or email [email protected]

tony davies with ella Hodgson Davies  3 and riley hodgson  4 and Ben Hall and son Kai 5

Tony Davies with Ella Hodgson Davies and Riley Hodgson and Ben Hall and son Kai

EHA volunteers and partners working together for the fun day



Eden HA shortlisted for contractor engagement award

9th May 2016

Eden Housing Association is recognised for partnership working at TPAS Award ceremony

Shortlisted for an award, Eden Housing Association represented Cumbria in a national award category that recognises excellence in engaging with contractors. It is the first time they have been nominated at the awards and only narrowly lost out on the top place.

The awards are organised each year by TPAS –tenant engaging experts who bring together landlords, tenants and contractors to improve services. The shortlisted entry from Eden Housing Association focused on their ‘Creative Van Art’ project which involved working with contractors ‘Partnering in Property Management Ltd’ (PPM), Kirkby Stephen Grammar School (KSGS) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The aim was to create artwork to be used as van wraps for PPM vehicles in the area and at the same time, create awareness of apprenticeship opportunities.

Students at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School stretched their creativity by designing a van bonnet that expresses how they feel about their local community. The two winning designs were then used as covers for the two PPM Ltd vans that travel across Eden.

Sarah Bowman, Community Development Officer at Eden Housing Association co-ordinated the project, working closely with Mrs Modlin, Kirkby Stephen Grammar School Art Teacher/Careers Advisor, and PPM Ltd.’s Managing Director Gordon McGregor who was one of the judges. “We wanted an activity that would create informal opportunity for students to find out about a variety of jobs and apprenticeships they may have never have otherwise considered and we wanted something they could enjoy over the summer months. The success can be seen in the number and quality of entries – and the fact that it led to two apprenticeships being taken up by students.”

“The design project was very much driven by the children’s interest. There were double the number of entries we anticipated, so PPM decided to commission two van graphics. They have been very supportive throughout the project and we’re pleased to see the vans on the road.”

To celebrate their achievements a team from PPM, Kirkby Stephen Grammar School and Eden Housing Association travelled to Manchester for the ceremony. Speaking after the event Carolyn Greenhalgh, Assistant Director for Housing and Support at Eden Housing Association said “We are proud to be included in the TPAS Awards which showcase the compelling and inspirational success stories of tenants, landlords and contractors working together. To be included in this group is a real achievement. We are a relatively small Housing Association but place great emphasis on working with our communities so this accolade means a great deal – to us and our partners.”

PPM’s Managing Director Gordon McGregor also attended the awards and said “I was very proud to see this project do so well. It was one of the most innovative projects mentioned and is a great template that can be used for future partnership working.”

Every year Eden Housing Association runs numerous community activities, from training programmes and fun days to developing gardening skills and organising a community polytunnel project that enables residents to grow their own food.

To find out more about supporting community activity, contact Sarah Bowman at Eden Housing Association on 01768 861 400.

Tpas Award event

The Eden HA team and the PPM team at the awards ceremony in Manchester

Partnership working leads to creative design

New livery for PPM vans


Cumbria WISH members get assertive

17th March 2016


WISH Cumbria gets assertive – it is OK to say no

Cumbrian branch of WISH (Women in Social Housing), held their latest event in Kendal, where attendees learned a few new tricks to help them become more assertive. Speaker Emma McColm from Lakes Coaching provided top tips, highlighting the difference between assertiveness and aggression.

Feedback from women working in social housing right across Cumbria provided the organisers of WISH Cumbria with a list of topics that would be really useful for personal development. How to be more confident and assertive were at the top of that list. WISH events have been held in other parts of the country, but the WISH Cumbria team were keen to source local providers and eager to work with Lakes Coaching.

Over twenty women took part in the event, including a team from Napthens Solicitors who sponsored the event. Carolyn Greenhalgh Assistant Director at Eden Housing Association and Chair of WISH Cumbria said “Our group is definitely gathering momentum and that’s because we have such a good mix of people; there were solicitors, surveyors, maintenance contractors as well as those involved in fund raising and housing management. It created a really nice buzz on the day and was good to see people from different walks of life, all connected to housing in some way.”

“Emma gave us the basic tools for dealing with difficult situations – we all agreed it’s hard to say no!   She showed us the difference between assertiveness which focuses on problems or issues, compared to aggression which is fuelled by frustration and personal emotion. The trick is how you deal with it.”

South Lakes Housing hosted the event, Lindsay Simons, Director of their Corporate Services said “Emma packed a huge amount into the session and we learned that using facts to express our argument is a very effective way to make a point with conviction. We also learned that you can compromise without being a doormat and what you allow is what will continue.”

Summing up the session attendee Carolyn Greenhalgh said “Learning to say no without feeling guilty is very empowering – and it’s true what Emma said ‘what you allow is what will continue.’ Hopefully we have all learned something to help us improve how we get our messages across.”

The next WISH Cumbria event is a networking lunch followed by an outstanding guest speaker. As an Opera singer and First Lady of the London Quartet, Sarah-Ann Cromwell is sure to give a powerful performance, helping attendee’s deal with nerves and hold a room to attention, giving them a toolkit to help project confidence and create a professional impact. It is being held at Penrith Rugby FC Club on Wednesday 18th May.

Members of WISH NW and WISH Cumbria can attend the event free of charge, with tickets for non-members at £30. To register, visit the Cumbria event page at,

Getting assertive with WISH Cumbria in Kendal

Pictures: Attendees at the Cumbrian WISH Assertiveness meeting with Emma McColm (white shirt black trim centre) from Lakes Coaching near Kendal, held at South Lakes Housing Association, Kendal.   For more information or pictures contact Tracey Errington on 07799 640 290 or email [email protected]

Editors notes:   WISH operates across the UK, to support women working in jobs right across the housing sector. In the past, with Cumbria being so geographically remote it has been harder for women living and working in this sector to network. The new Cumbria WISH group has already made great strides to change that, with a year long programme of events and training opportunities taking place across county including Carlisle, Kendal, Penrith and Cockermouth.,


Former Penrith Store becomes new homes

14th March 2016

Former shop becomes homes for Penrith residents

Created from a former shop in Penrith, Eden Housing Association is celebrating the launch of four new apartments which in turn, have freed up much needed family homes elsewhere in the town.

The shop on the Pategill estate in Penrith had been vacant for some time, despite great effort from the local community and Eden Housing Association to try and find someone to take on the business. With a constant shortage of homes in the district, Eden Housing Association following consultation in the local community decided to convert the shop into four one bedroomed apartments.

In 2015 Eden Housing Association successfully bid for a loan from Eden District Council’s Affordable Housing and Innovation Fund (AHIF). The emerging opportunity to convert the shop building at Pategill, met the local authorities’ criteria and as a result over £135,000 funding for the design and works involved was approved and a successful collaboration resulted.

At a cost of £242, 876, the property took 21 weeks to renovate from a shop to four homes, with tenants moving in December.

Creating these new homes has a number of benefits, it gives a new purpose to an unused building, reduces the risk of anti-social behaviour, and most importantly, has freed up family homes for other residents in Eden.

Three of the new residents have moved from three bedroom family homes into the apartments, it means larger families can make best use of a family home and the new Lonsdale Court tenants have downsized, reducing running costs and the 25% bedroom tax they were facing. One of these tenants is Miss Lucas (pictured) who was looking to downsize to a ground floor property. Transferring from a larger family home, Miss Lucas was also able to qualify for the Eden Housing Association ‘Incentive to Move’ grant which helps with reasonable moving expenses.

Others moving to the new homes include Mr Cunningham who was previously living with family, they were soon to move and this gave Mr Cunningham the opportunity to become independent in his own home.

John Clasper, Managing Director at Eden Housing Association said “Working in collaboration with Eden District Council we have been able to convert the shop into homes. The empty premises was beginning to attract some anti-social behaviour and the investment in this housing scheme has enabled this to be overcome and a much nicer appearance and environment to be re-established. Letting these homes has also resulted in better use of our stock all round and it is good to see that a couple of our tenants have been able to downsize, releasing larger houses nearby that have been allocated to families in need. ”

Eden District Council’s Deputy Leader and Housing and Health Portfolio Holder, Councillor Lesley Grisedale, said: “The Council through the £1 million Affordable Housing and Innovation Fund (AHIF) is delighted to have supported Eden Housing Association with a loan to develop the creation of these apartments at the former Pategill store in Penrith.

“It is great to see people occupying these new apartments and the money the Council continues to invest in affordable housing innovation schemes is coming to fruition and helping to meet local housing need.”

During 2016, Eden Housing Association plans to develop 20 affordable homes in the area, including properties in Penrith and Threlkeld.

For details of housing developments at Eden Housing Association, call 01768 861400 or visit


John Clasper EHA MD with Miss Lucas and Cllr Lesley Grisedale

John Clasper EHA MD with Miss Lucas and Cllr Lesley Grisedale

Pictures: John Clasper, MD Eden Housing Association meets new Pategill tenant Miss Lucas with Councillor Lesley Grisedale, Eden District Council’s Deputy Leader and Housing and Health Portfolio Holder


Notes to the editor:

Eden Housing Association was established in 1997 following the voluntary transfer of housing stock from Eden District Council. Operating chiefly across North Cumbria they own/manage around 1,982 homes for affordable rent or sale, and act as Managing Agents for Mitre Housing Association, Allonby Alms-houses, and Lyvennet Community Trust.

EDC – The £1million AHIF was established in September 2014. Bids to the Fund are scrutinised by a sub-group of the Eden Housing board, including the Council’s Housing Portfolio Holder. AHIF places the Council in a strong position to guide and influence the delivery of affordable housing in the area. Loan repayments from the finance provided to housing associations are re-invested in the Fund.

Housing Association Chiefs set for a cold night raising money at the Big Sleep

27th January 2016

Three Housing Association Chiefs will be finding out what it is like to really suffer the cold when they take part in the Big Sleep – the Cumbrian event organised by Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) to raise awareness and funds for their Winter Warmth Fund.  The Housing Chiefs set themselves a target of raising over £1000 and are geared up for a cold night at Windermere.

John Clasper Managing Director of Eden Housing Association has taken part in the event in the past and was keen to rally other housing leaders to participate. In November Mike Muir, CEO at Impact Housing, Cath Purdy, CEO at South Lakes Housing and Stephanie Murphy from Two Castles Housing Association all agreed to join John at the Big Sleep, raising the profile and gathering pounds to support the Winter Warmth Fund.

This is the third year for what has become an annual CCF appeal, which has so far raised £55,000. John Clasper said “ I remember being without heating in my own home during one winter for only a couple of days and how miserable that made me feel, in Eden District we have a higher rate of older people than in most parts of the UK so I was very keen to support the winter warmth appeal The previous Big Sleep I participated in was an incredible event, not only in raising money but creating awareness that so many older people in Cumbria die because of the effect of cold weather. It’s unbelievable that during a bad winter around 300 older people in Cumbria die, with many thought to have to choose between heating their homes and eating a meal.

“There has been real comradery in our group, though sadly Stephanie is no longer able to join us on the night. Cumbria Community Foundation makes it a night to remember and the Spirit of Cumbria will be on show as it has been during the floods.”

Mike Muir, CEO at Impact Housing Association said “Lots of our tenants and residents are on low incomes and fixed pensions and the particularly poor weather we’ve seen makes it even more difficult for them. We wanted to show our joint commitment to the cause and will raise money towards the fund which helps keep older people in Cumbria safe and warm. ”

The third member of the Housing Chiefs to camp out is Cath Purdy, CEO at South Lakes Housing. “We signed up to the event weeks before the devastating effects of Storm Desmond, so what we’re doing has become even more important. The Community Foundation has raised more than £4.5 million towards the Flood Appeal, but it means fundraising for other causes has been slower. There are still lots of older people really needing help, CCF has already given out £74,000 to help older people keep warm this winter, but they have only had £55,000 in donations so far. We’re hoping our contribution will help make a difference.”

The night under the stars takes place in a very wet field by the Low Wood Hotel, Ambleside in near freezing conditions. It is hoped the deluges of rain the county has experienced in the last month doesn’t interfere with the event.

Anyone wanting to contribute to the fund raising can donate on the Chief Exec Just Giving Page For more information about the Big Sleep event and the Winter Warmth Fund, visit

Three housing leaders set for Big SleepPicture: Three Cumbrian housing leaders set for the Big Sleep organised by the Cumbria Community Foundation. Mike Muir, Chief Executive Impact Housing Association, Cath Purdy Chief Executive, South Lakes Housing and John Clasper Managing Director at Eden Housing Association

For more information on this press release please contact [email protected] 01768 895964

Update on the December 2015 Floods

15th December 2015

The floods in December 2015 hit many homes and communities throughout Eden.  If you have been affected and are in need of alternative accommodation as a direct result of the floods please do not hesitate to contact our Housing Advice Service on 01768 861400.

Please note there is no distinction whatsoever made between social and affordable housing tenants, private renters or owner-occupiers for this service.

For information we have also attached a copy of the up to date Cumbria Flood Factsheet below.

Eden Newsletter – 2016 04 29 PDF (2)

Eden Housing Association is supporting the Cumbria Community Foundation 2015 Flood Recovery Appeal.

Cumbria Flood Appeal 2015 - Email Signature (2)


Business and school partnership results in creative van art

30th November 2015

School pupils will be watching the road for traffic this week, watching out for white vans with a difference. A project led by two Cumbrian businesses has enabled students at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School to stretch their creativity by designing a van bonnet that expresses how they feel about their local community. The winning designs are now covering two PPM Ltd vans that travel across Eden.

PPM Ltd, the Cumbrian property maintenance company has been providing day to day property maintenance service to Eden Housing Association for three years. Keen to develop their partnership in the community, PPM Ltd has joined forces with EHA Community Development Team to develop an apprenticeship roadshow visited Kirkby Stephen Grammar School to talk about apprenticeships with year ten and eleven students.

This visit led PPM Ltd.’s Managing Director Gordon McGregor to consider how they could stimulate students to think more about their community and possibly discover a new range of job opportunities. Liaising with Sarah Bowman, Community Development Officer at Eden Housing Association, and teacher Mrs Modlin, (also Careers Advisor for the school), they launched a creative project to design a PPM van bonnet.

Sarah Bowman, Community Development Officer at Eden Housing Association said “Chatting to Gordon it became clear that this would be a great way for young people to creatively express how they see their community and at the same time, think through the whole process, from design to production. If it sparks interest in new career opportunities or gets them thinking about the variety of jobs available within a single business, that can only be for the good.”

Students from across the school worked on designs through the summer. The seventy entries were judged by Gordon McGregor from PPM Ltd and John Clasper, Managing Director at Eden Housing Association. Initially they were looking for one winning design for a van, but the standard was so high, they created two winners who both had their designs transferred on to vans, they also added highly commended awards for impressive creativity.

The winners were congratulated at a school assembly this week, when the two newly liveried vans drove into the school grounds.

The winning van designs came from Alice Fawcett and Nathan Wolstenholme, with Highly Commended Awards presented to Amy Macdonald, Ella Capstick, Hayley Pinder and Benjamin Cottrell.

Commenting on the winning entries, the judges said “Alice’s design made an impression with colour and content and encompassed so much of the community and environment. In contrast, Nathan’s design had a real impact, the simplicity and the quality of his illustrations were excellent and it has a strong sporting link.”

Speaking after the assembly, Gordon McGregor, Managing Director at PPM Ltd said “We have around 90 staff working in a variety of roles from maintenance engineers to office administration and accounts and also offer apprenticeships. We’re proud of the maintenance service we offer, but we want to make an impact in our communities too. Working with organisations like Eden Housing Association has proved to be very effective; it demonstrates that together we can achieve more.”

Head Teacher Ruth Houston said “The school is delighted to work with local businesses like Eden Housing Association and PPM Ltd as part of our growing links between the school and local community. The title of this project “what our community means to me” was very meaningful and real for the students and it’s great to know the PPM vans will be seen regularly around the area.”

To find out more about supporting community activity, contact Sarah Bowman at Eden Housing Association on 01768 861 400.

Alice Fawcett with her design

Alice Fawcett with her design

Nathan Wolstenholme with his design

Nathan Wolstenholme with his design

Partnership working leads to creative design

New livery for PPM Ltd vans. Gordon McGregor MD at PPM Ltd with student Nathan Wolstenholme, Kirkby Stephen Grammar School Head Teacher Ruth Houston with Eden Housing Association’s Community Development Officer Sarah Bowman, Alice Fawcett with Beth Nicholls Communications and Development Officer for PPM Ltd


Mill Gardens Extra Care scheme raises funds for Eden medical centre

27th November 2015

Residents of Eden Housing Association’s Extra Care Housing Scheme in Kirkby Stephen held a coffee morning to raise money for the local medical practice. Baking cakes and pouring coffee raised £120.

The Mill Gardens Extra Care Scheme was officially opened this summer, with a full house of residents present for the launch. Keen to ensure they maintained their strong connection with the Kirkby Stephen area, residents organised a coffee morning, inviting the local community to attend.

Eden Housing Association’s Support and Activities Co-ordinator Debi Wilkinson and Sylvia Ganner, the Extra Care Co-ordinator were on hand to help with the event, but it was the residents themselves that gathered raffle prizes, baked cakes and made refreshments to welcome visitors to the event.   The gathering raised £120 which was presented to Janet Allonby, Lead Receptionist at the Upper Eden Medical Practice.

Debi Wilkinson Support and Activities Co-ordinator said “The residents got together to decide which cause they wanted to support, they were quite clear that they wanted the money to be used in our local area and the Upper Eden Medical Centre was a clear winner.

Our residents like to be active and they get together on a very regular basis. This event was a great opportunity for local people to come and have a look at our new scheme and enjoy the residents’ hospitality and we were delighted with the turnout.”

Mill Gardens cheque presentation - coffee morning raises 120

Picture: Staff and residents at Mill Gardens Extra Care scheme present cheque for £120 to Janet Allonby from the Upper Eden Medical Practice.

Proud Eden tenant presents at national conference and visits Kew Gardens

18th November 2015

Ian Douthwaite, an Eden Housing Association (EHA) tenant, was invited to speak at a national housing and health conference in London. He was one of only four tenants across the country who spoke, contributing to the theme ‘Proud to be a tenant’. Ian made a real impact with his presentation and was also been asked to be involved in #nationalhousingday held today (Wednesday 18th November).

PlaceShapers is a network of more than 100 housing associations, who all share a community focus and a commitment to put residents at the heart of what they do, principles that make them more than just a social landlord. This year their national conference wanted to hear from tenants from across the country. Eden Housing Association approached Ian Dowthwaite, asking him if he would be prepared to share his tenant journey at the conference – he was delighted to accept.

Ian’s presentation captivated the audience who heard about his tenant history with Eden Housing Association. Ian, his wife and two children became EHA tenants in 1999, having been made redundant from the pub he ran with his wife Pauline. Unfortunately it meant they lost their home too. With impending homelessness, the family contacted EHA who found them a family home in Kirkby Thore.

Ian worked as a freelance chef until his wife was diagnosed with a life changing illness affecting mobility. Their two children had grown up and the family sized house was difficult to manage, so EHA assisted in relocating Ian and his wife to a bungalow in Greystoke with an all-important garden. Ian has become his wife’s carer, but in 2011 he did find time to attend gardening training classes organised by the EHA Community Development Team.

Based at Newton Rigg, Ian was naturally green fingered and the college encouraged him to study a BTEC in Horticulture. He did fantastically well and even enjoyed work placement at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage – the most famous of kitchen gardens.

Coming full circle, Ian now also helps EHA with gardening projects, encouraging others to get the green finger bug.   As a thank you for speaking at the conference, Eden Housing Association arranged for Ian to visit Kew Gardens – a visit high on his bucket list.

Having listened to the issues discussed at the conference, Ian said “The conference was very informative and a real eye opener how government policy may affect future plans, it’s useful for tenants to be aware of the constraints associations now work under. I really enjoyed telling my story and am very grateful for all the support and encouragement Eden Housing Association has given me over the years.”

Ian’s presentation made a real impact, leading to numerous mentions on social media which reaffirmed the PlaceShapers ethos that social housing ‘is about much more than bricks and mortar’. Ian has also been asked to speak on social media during #nationalhousingday Wednesday 18th November.

John Clasper Managing Director at Eden Housing Association said “Ian’s story is a great example of how security of tenure and the right kind of support can make a world of difference. Ian and his family have been tenants for 16 years, and we have enjoyed a great landlord and tenant relationship, working alongside them as their needs have changed. Ian has also embraced our community activities and training, which in turn has led him to cultivate his green fingers. We’re delighted that we helped him develop his love of gardening and learn new skills and pleased he was able to join us at the conference. As a thankyou we made arrangements for him to travel to London earlier so he could visit Kew Gardens. We knew it was on his ‘bucket list’ and we were pleased to make it happen.”

Ian has been invited to contribute to ‘Proud to be a tenant’ day which also co-insides with National Housing Day, both held Wednesday 18th November. For more information about Eden Housing Association visit or call 01768 861400.

New Board Members help shape future at Eden Housing Association

10th November 2015

Shaping the future of their organisation, board members and the leadership team at Eden Housing Association (EHA) concentrated their thoughts at their annual strategic away day. With the unexpected changes to social housing announced by the Government in the Summer budget, the EHA strategic planning day was brought forward and provided an ideal opportunity for the four most recent board members to make a valuable contribution to Eden Housing Association’s future direction.

Ian Tupling became a board member when Lowther Housing Association transferred its stock to Eden Housing Association. He was their long standing Vice Chair and has close involvement with rural housing issues. The other more recent additions to the board in 2015 include Fra Cooke who has over 20 years’ experience in organisational change and strategic management in commercial and not for profit organisations and Simon Hunt, a chartered accountant for over fifteen years, with extensive experience in change management and planning and currently working in the NHS. The fourth addition to the board is Hugh Harrison, Chair of the Associations tenant and resident assembly and with close to 50 years experience as a former Parish and District Councillor.

The Government’s budget announcement that housing associations will be forced to reduce rents over the next 4 years came as a major surprise to social housing providers across the UK, given a previous guarantee on rent increases for 10 years had been only just implemented this year. The announcement will lead to Housing Associations (HA’s) being required to reduce social housing rents by 1 per cent each year for the next four years from April 2016.

The changes meant that existing financial planning budgets were obsolete, with many housing associations faced with the need to find large savings across their organisations and threatening their planned investment into core services and community benefit activities as well as the provision of much needed new affordable rented homes.

Eden Housing Association had just completed their most recent three year corporate plan when the announcements were made. Since then, the board and leadership team have been working to minimise the effect of future rent budget cuts on services to tenants and staff. The strategic away day was an opportunity to review and refine the association’s goals and steer the organisation’s direction, building upon its existing strengths.

John Clasper, Managing Director at Eden Housing Association said “the proposed reduction in rental income means we need to make savings across our business. Our newest board members bring with them decades of experience in strategic planning and organisation change as well as a commercial perspective, so their contributions at this time are immensely valuable. Our mission has not changed; but we will have to think and respond differently to continue to be an efficient and highly effective landlord, enabling us to go beyond that expected landlord role and get involved in projects that help people and our rural communities. We will need to be even more effective and invest in new partnerships”.

“Spending the day together enabled a lot of different thoughts to be expressed and to reaffirm our commitment to the local neighbourhoods. The Board wish us to be bolder in our ambition. To continue developing homes, continue growing our Independent Living Service and pursuing partnerships – including volunteering opportunities, so we can play our part in addressing the health and wellbeing needs of our communities. It is now the job of our leadership team to translate that into successful work plans.”

Eden Housing Association is not alone in facing challenges. The government’s rent reduction policy has potentially serious consequences for many housing associations and all are expected to have to address cash flows and reconfiguration of business plans. It also raises questions about the ability and appetite of social landlords to build new homes.

Eden Housing Association will continue to seek development opportunities on smaller sites in keeping with the local and rural neighbourhoods it serves.

New board members at Eden HA Fra Cooke, Simon Hunt, Hugh Harrison and Ian Tupling

New board members at Eden HA Fra Cooke, Simon Hunt, Hugh Harrison and Ian Tupling


Three charities benefit from Fun Day

20th September 2015

The Penrith summer fun day has raised over £1,600 which will be shared by three local organisations. The fun day, held in the summer holidays at Penrith RUFC was a joint affair; with local groups working together to create a value for money family event that could also raise funds for nominated charities.

Presenting the cheque to charities at Eden Housing Association office

Fun Day charity cheque presentation with ECHO, Eden Housing Association and charities Great North Air Ambulance and Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland

The event raised £1,637.23 and was jointly organised by Eden Housing Association (EHA), working with ECHO (their Residents Assembly), INSPIRA and Penrith RUFC. Their nominated charities were Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland, the Great North Air Ambulance and Penrith RUFC Youth Rugby, each receiving a cheque for £545.74.

Read the full story by clicking Fun Day raises funds for three local charities