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Housing Strategy

There is no longer a statutory requirement on local authorities to have a districtwide Housing Strategy; however Carlisle is signed up to the Cumbria Housing Statement, and has individual strategies for key housing-related areas of work.  The City Council is also a member of a number of strategic housing groups. 

Carlisle City Council transferred its Council housing stock to the Riverside Group in December 2002, but the Council is still the Local Housing Authority for Carlisle, and works with a range of partners to deliver a range of sustainable housing to meet a range of needs, including affordable housing and homes suitable for older persons across Carlisle's urban and rural housing markets.  

A major focus for new development will be St Cuthbert's Garden Village to the South of Carlisle, which will deliver approximately 10,000 homes, alongside new employment and infrastructure.

Strategic Documents and Partnerships

Cumbria Housing Statement (updated March 2020) - the Statement was prepared by the Cumbria Housing Group: a partnership with the five other District Councils in Cumbria, Cumbria County Council, and Lake District National Park Authority.  The document is a statement of intent from the partners to work collaboratively, providing a shared vision and single voice to deliver our three shared priorities for Housing in Cumbria:-

  • Housing growth, affordability and community sustainability
  • Improving living conditions and creating thriving communities
  • Supporting independent living conditions and creating thriving communities.

Homeless and Rough Sleeping Strategy for Carlisle (2015-20)

This interagency strategy outlines how the City Council and its key partners will meet homelessness challenges, through building on our existing successful partnerships and service provision to develop new and improved ways of working to assist anyone experiencing, or threatened with, homelessness in Carlisle.

Carlisle Housing Partnership

The Carlisle Housing Partnership, which is a sub-group of the Carlisle Partnership, brings together professionals from the public, private and third sectors to champion delivery of the group's three strategic priorities:-

  • Housing supply
  • Decent & healthy homes
  • Supporting vulnerable people

Cumbria Housing Group

The Council is an acitve member of the Cumbria Housing Group, and contributes to the two main sub-groups:-

  • Housing supply group
  • Health & wellbeing group

Carlisle Liaison Group

This partnership with Riverside, who took over the Council's housing stock in 2002, ensures the Council is able to raise important issues relating to the wellbeing of social housing tenants with our largest social landlord.

Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership - Housing Subgroup

Established in 2020, this public/ private/ third sector partnership is working towards reducing carbon emissions across both new build and existing homes in support of the City's Climate Emergency declaration.  The group will seek to maximise funding opportunities for retro-fitting of the existing stock, alongside moving towards zero carbon new-build. 

Help us Build our Growing City (2020 Update)

Our updated developer prospectus showcases the range of exciting opportunities to invest in Carlisle.  We need to encourage more working age people to live and work in Carlisle in order to maintain existing employment levels, due to the ageing population - this is reflected within the Carlisle District Local Plan 2015-30, which identifies an average requirement for 565 homes per annum over the plan period.  The 2020 revamp of our Help us Build our Growing City brochure highlights the untapped development opportunities across Carlisle's urban and rural housing markets - including the emerging St Cuthbert's Garden Village, and is aimed at developers not currently active in our area as well as existing builders, to help Carlisle deliver its ambitious development and economic targets.

Affordable Housing

The Council is committed to delivering a range of affordabe homes of different sizes and tenures to meet the needs of a range of housholds, including young people, families and older people.  The two main types of affordable tenure are:-

  • Affordable homes to rent (social or affordable rent) - usually through a housing associaition.
  • 'Intermediate' housing - low cost home ownership products such as discounted sale or shared ownership.  The Council runs a discounted sale low cost home ownership scheme with a portfolio of over 400 properties.  The initial sale and subsequent re-sales are at a discount from market value - usually a 30% discount from market value; although the dicounts are smaller on some of the earlier developments.

We work proactively with local housing associations and funders such as Homes England, to bring forward new affordable housing schemes in sustainable locations.  Recent and current schemes include:-

  • 66 new homes for affordable rent at Holywell Crescent, Botcherby, developed by Home Group - including 25 bungalows suitable for older residents.
  • 50 affordable rented family homes at Beverley Rise, Harraby, developed by Riverside.  This scheme, on a former Council site brought forward for affordable housing, also provides practical onsite training opportunities for students from Carlisle College (through the Demonstration Project).
  • 68 new affordable rented family homes at Dalston Road, developed by Riverside.                                                                    

The Council also negotiates with developers to provide an element of affordable housing for rent and low cost home ownership on all new private sector developments of eleven or more dwellings.  The size and tenure of these affordable homes is negotiated around the housing need identified in the SHMA (Strategic Housing Market Assessment) for Carlisle.  The SHMA, which provides a comprehensive analysis of Carlisle's housing market, was last updated in 2019 and identified a need for 158 new affordable homes per annum up until 2024. 

Extra Care Housing and Supported Living

A link is provided for Cumbria County Council's Extra Care Housing and Supported Living Strategy 2016-25 Extra Care Housing and Supported Living Strategy 2016-2025 (

Extra Care housing refers to housing designed with the needs of more frail older people in mind.  Unlike traditional sheltered schemes, people who live in Extra Care housing live independently with their own front doors in self-contained accommodation, but with varying levels of care and support available onsite to meet their individual needs.  The term 'supported living' is used to describe the equivalent type of 'accommodation with care' provision for younger adults with learning of physical disabilities.

Existing Extra Care schemes in Carlisle are:-

  • Burnside Court, Stanwix (managed by Anchor Hanover)
  • Heysham Gardens, Belle Vue (managed by Eden Housing Association)
  • Bramble Court, Brampton (managed by Impact - now part of the Riverside Group)

The Strategy identifies a significant requirement for further Extra Care housing due to the projected increase in the number of older people - the table on page 11 estimates the need for an additional 389 Extra Care properties by 2025.  The Council is working with the County Council and other partners through our Cumbria Extra Care Housing Forum to identify and bring forward further sites for Extra Care housing in Carlisle District.

Cumbria LEP Housing Delivery Strategy

The Housing Delivery Strategy for Cumbria, published October 2020, was commissioned by Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) and prepared by eminent planning and development consultant, Lichfields, supported by input from a range of local stakeholders, including the City Council.

The Housing Delivery Strategy, and associated action plan, focuses on identifying the specific activities and interventions required to deliver the housing ambitions of Cumbria's local authorities - particularly in relation to the provision of new homes.  The Strategy highlights those issues where collaborative working can deliver genuine value in identifying enablers and barriers to development, including housing-related infrastructure.

As well as delivering the right homes in the right places at the right prices, the Strategy recognises housing's essential role in creating and supporting economic growth.  A balanced housing market  supports local economic vitality alongside providing employment in the construction sector.

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