Castles & Coasts secure ‘sensitive let’ status for Northside, Workington

Castles & Coasts Housing Association (CCHA) have worked in partnership with the Cumbria Choice Based Lettings partnership (CBL) to agree and implement a Local Lettings Policy for the Northside estate in Workington, ensuring ‘sensitive lets’ for an initial six-month period. This means that anyone wanting to become a CCHA tenant in the neighbourhood will have to meet a strict set of criteria to be considered.  

The new conditions mean that applicants for Northside homes:

  • must have an established positive tenancy history with no reported issues of anti-social behaviour (ASB) for over 24 months.
  • must not have any previous convictions for use, supply or involvement in drugs, or any intelligence surrounding them and this issue. This will be assessed in conjunction with the local Focus Hub, including the police.
  • must have no previous issues with hate crime.
  • currently living on the estate (with an evidenced housing need), or with a connection to the estate, will be given preference over those with a wider Allerdale connection. This means their mother, father, brother, sister, child or grandparent (including step) already live in Northside.

Sensitive lets are usually put in place for a single home where there have been major issues. In those cases, criteria are put in place to make sure other residents in the area are not subjected to the same issues with a new tenant. In this case, the sensitive let criteria will be applied to all homes on the Northside estate.

Anna Bates, Head of Housing at CCHA said: “Everyone deserves to live in a neighbourhood where they feel safe and secure. Alongside our partners, we’ve been working with, and listening to, the concerns of local residents and building up trust over the past weeks and months. All of this work has led to us being able to issue three tenancy termination notices in Northside, in Workington which I’m sure will bring some relief to the local community.

“By being able to designate the whole of Northside as a sensitive let area under the Local Lettings Policy, we can now complete a more robust review of applicants for any of our properties in that neighbourhood for the next six months. We hope that this is welcome news for existing residents.”

This status is the culmination of work by the multiple agencies involved in Allerdale Local Focus Hub and CBL coming together to provide community and partner data to show that it’s needed. Allerdale Local Focus Hub is a partnership between various organisations including Castles & Coasts, Cumbria Police, Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service, and Cumberland Council that aims to ensure local residents have the chance to engage with others in their community and have their voices heard, through various community events such as the recent ‘Operation Respect’ and anti-social behaviour awareness week

Cllr Emma Williamson, Cumberland Council Executive Member for Children's, Family Wellbeing and Housing, said:

“Cumberland Council’s Community Safety and Resilience Team continue to work with colleagues in Castles & Coasts, Cumbria Police, and Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service to engage with the community, address residents' concerns, and prioritise community safety. Here at Cumberland Council health and wellbeing is at the heart of everything that we do, and our involvement in this project reflects our commitment to improving the lives of residents and making community safety a priority.”

All of the involved partner agencies will meet regularly over the initial six month period to assess the impact of the new policy, with the option of extending for a total of up to 12 months if needed.

Anyone interested in a home in the Northside area of Workington should still apply via Cumbria Choice and will need to meet the sensitive let criteria.


Pictured: Castles & Coasts colleagues and partner agencies working together in Northside, Workington, during ASB Awareness Week 2023