We speak to new tenant Mel about her positive experience of moving into one of our brand-new properties in Kendal.

We were delighted to catch up with a new tenant recently who, in April 2020, moved into one of the Group's affordable-rent new-build homes on the beautiful Strawberry Fields development in Kendal.

We worked with developer Oakmere Homes and South Lakeland District Council to provide 49 affordable homes on the development – a mix of one, two and three-bedroom homes for affordable rent and shared ownership.

New tenant, Mel, lives in Kendal with her husband and their six-year-old son. Mel is a travel agent and has recently returned to work part-time after being furloughed as part of the COVID-19 response.

Mel's search for an affordable family home started at the beginning of this year when Mel’s landlord gave the family notice that his circumstances had changed and he was unfortunately going to have to sell the home that they had privately-rented from him for seven years.

The search began to find a home that they could afford in their preferred area of Kendal.

Unfortunately, after viewing shared ownership properties and looking into mortgages, the couple were told that they couldn’t afford to buy. They were also struggling to find affordable private rentals in Kendal, and so when they found out that they were eligible for one of the affordable rent homes on the new Strawberry Fields development, they were delighted.

Speaking about her experience of finding a new home with Progress Housing Group, Mel said, “Just before the lockdown, we were told that we needed to move out of our previous privately-rented home as the landlord was selling. We couldn’t afford a mortgage and also couldn’t find any decent rental places which we could afford, so this house on the Strawberry Fields development in Kendal came at just the right time for us.

“We feel so relieved and so lucky to get a brand-new two-bedroom home in my hometown of Kendal, near my mum, and close to my son’s primary school. It’s a corner plot, has a lovely garden and is finished to such a high standard. 

“It’s so rare for young families like us to be able to get a new house in this area at an affordable monthly rent. We’ve also been told by Progress Housing Group that after a few years, we could be eligible for the Right to Buy scheme, which would be wonderful! It also seems like fate to be living on this new development, as I actually grew up in a house that my Beatles-mad Dad had named ‘Strawberry Fields’ after his favourite band!

“The process of getting a house with Progress was really straightforward and I dealt with Lisa, who explained everything clearly to us and before we knew it, we were picking up the keys.

“After months of worry that we couldn’t afford to stay in this area of Kendal, we’re now living in a lovely new home with a large garden, close to my mum and my little boy’s school which means alot to us – and we couldn’t be happier. I’d have no hesitation in recommending Progress Housing to other families looking for affordable rent homes.”

Our Director of Development, Dan Griffiths, said, “It’s so nice to hear that Mel and her family are enjoying their new home. The affordable housing acquired by the Group on this development means that more local people and families are able to stay in Kendal whereas they may not have previously been able to due to the high property prices.

“The rented units have rents set lower than market rent and the shared ownership homes provide opportunities to acquire a property in stages - making it more affordable.

“The ‘local connections’ criteria in the Section 106 agreement means that the affordable rent homes have been offered to people in the local area or who have connections in the local area.

"We wish Mel and her lovely family all the best in their new home!”

 *A huge thank you to Mel for allowing us to use her story!

How to register for a rented property with Progress Housing Group?

People wanting to rent a home or enquire about renting a property from Progress Housing Group can visit our website at www.progressgroup.org.uk/rent-a-home/ and contact us via webchat or telephone on 03333 204555.

If the properties are in an area where we are a member of the Choice Based Lettings (CBL) system, then we advertise them through the CBL website. In other areas the local council may request nominations from themselves for tenants, or allow us to place adverts on their CBL system. We also advertise on Moving Soon and Rightmove, and occasionally on our own social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.

We also sometimes have a limited number of properties that you can rent directly with the Group and which may be available immediately. Visit our website to find out more.