Well, I have finally gone and done it. Those of you who know me well will probably recall me going on about starting a Buddhist ethical letting agency in my home town of Cambridge. It is talk no longer.
The agency is called New View Residential and is owned by the Windhorse Trust, the charity that owns windhorse:evolution. We started in October last year with encouragement and support from friends such as Vidyavajra (in the photo with the board he designed), Janansalin and Keturja to name just a few.
It completes a full circle for me as letting property in Cambridge is how I first became involved in Buddhism. I was working for an agency in Cambridge and had let a property to Windhorse for use as a community. I was fascinated by the sight of their shrine room and started going along to the Cambridge Buddhist Centre a few months later.
New View Residential is a Cambridge based residential letting agency and acts on behalf of local landlords who wish to rent out their property. We advertise their property to help them find tenants, we take references and collect the rent, deposits and so on. We can also direct them to Letsure, our insurance partner who can provide property insurance to both landlords and tenants.
The new Right Livelihood business is a not-for-profit social enterprise meaning that it distributes it’s profits to charity. Half of the profits will go to Triratna Buddhist projects and the other half to charities nominated by our Cambridge landlords. We ask our landlords to nominate one of 6 charities. Five of the charities are operating in the Cambridge area:
- Arthur Rank Hospice Charity
- Blue Cross
- Ormiston Children & Families Trust
- The Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust
The other charity is the Karuna Trust, which we have included as an option for Buddhist landlords.
Our name “New View” has 3 meanings:
- The Buddha’s Middle Way is a “New View”
- A letting agent dedicated to raising money for charity rather than profit is a “New View”
- When you move home you get a “New View”
I really hope this takes off and is successful in raising money for Triratna Buddhist projects and local charities. I also hope that New View Residential can help to raise the profile of Buddhism in the local community. You can never tell how people get involved with Buddhism - look what happened to me.
We have just launched our Cambridge Lettings website and are now looking for landlords and tenants. The site was developed by an ethical company Virya Technologies, operated by Triratna Buddhist Mitra Ruth Cheesely who goes to the Ipswich Buddhist Centre. Please have a look at our website and let me know what you think.