Rory this week welcomed the Chief Executive of Penrith Building Society (PBS), Amyn Fazal, to Parliament, to promote the trailblazing work being done in Eden to help more people afford to buy their own homes. The Eden model was explained in parliament to a cross-party group of MP, peers, and Building Society chief executives. PBS, working alongside Eden District Council, have created the ‘Eden Mortgage Boost Scheme’, which will reduce many of the initial costs that a borrower faces when borrowing more than 75% of the purchase price, making it more affordable to buy a house in the Eden area. The scheme, which will shortly see its first applicants move into their new homes, was presented by the Penrith MP and Mr Fazal as a community-focused model to be replicated nationwide.

Eden has already shown itself to be leading the way when it comes to affordable housing, with the Stoneworks Garth site in Crosby Ravensworth standing as a model example of a community building and owning their own affordable homes. The ‘Eden Boost Scheme’ is the latest example of Eden businesses and communities coming up with practical solutions that aim to make it easier and more affordable to buy locally. Alongside its promotion in Westminster by Mr Stewart and Mr Fazal, the scheme also featured prominently in the latest Building Societies Association report, where mutuals like PBS were praised for their strong focus on the local community.

Chief Executive Amyn Fazal said:

“Being a small mutual means that our commitment to the principles of mutuality, puts us in an excellent position to put them into practice. The Eden Boost scheme should be seen in conjunction with our wider community involvement.”

Rory said:

“Amyn and Penrith Building Society are doing some really fantastic work here in Cumbria. We already have some amazing affordable housing projects in this constituency, but there is still much more we can do to help young people in particular get on the local property ladder, and ensure our rural communities remain affordable to local people who want to raise their families here. Initiatives like the Eden Boost Scheme are huge step in the right direction and it would be great to see it adopted by many more communities across Britain.”

Director General of the national Building Societies Association (BSA) Adrian Coles said:

“The Penrith Building Society stands for everything that modern banking seems to have – mistakenly in my view – thrown away: local knowledge and understanding, community involvement, a personal service determined by each borrower’s and saver’s individual requirements, and an overall determination to do what is right for the customer.  The people of Penrith should be proud to have such a well-regarded financial services institution, with such a long and distinguished  history, right in the centre of their town.”

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