CELEBRATIONS AS £3.2 MILLION LEEDS AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT REACHES COMPLETION

Leeds civic leaders and scheme partners have gathered to celebrate the official opening of a major newaffordable housing development in the city for the over 55s.

Councillor Richard Lewis (centre left), Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, cuts the ribbon at Stratford Court assisted (from left to right) by Chapel Allerton ward councillor Eileen Taylor, Unity chief executive Ali Akbor and Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan

Councillor Richard Lewis (centre left), Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, cuts the ribbon at Stratford Court assisted (from left to right) by Chapel Allerton ward councillor Eileen Taylor, Unity chief executive Ali Akbor and Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan

Stratford Court, sited in the heart of popular Leeds suburb Chapel Allerton, includes 19 homes for affordable rent and nine for shared ownership.  All units have now been taken.

The £3.2 million development, within a dedicated conservation area, was delivered by Leeds-based Unity Homes and Enterprise in partnership with Leeds City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.

The ceremonial ribbon was cut by Councillor Richard Lewis - the Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning - followed by a tour for invited guests and an opportunity to meet residents.

Ali Akbor, chief executive of Unity Homes and Enterprise, said the new scheme was a prime illustration of what partnership working could achieve in addressing the affordable housing shortage in Leeds.

Mr Akbor said: “Since our establishment as a housing association almost 30 years ago, Unity has been resolute in its determination to raise housing standards in the neighbourhoods we serve.  

 “But we cannot do this alone and the support we have received from Leeds City Council and the Home and Communities Agency has been invaluable.  This includes help to replace out of date and inappropriate accommodation with modern homes fit for our older population.

“Unity continues to build new homes and by the end of this year we will be managing 1,300 affordable properties for tenants from all communities and ethnic backgrounds, with another 120 due for completion by 2018.” 

Ray Smith (centre) pictured in his new Stratford Court property with (from left to right) Unity’s chief executive Ali Akbor, director of regeneration Wayne Noteman, board member Shazia Khan and Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Cllr Richard Lewis

Ray Smith (centre) pictured in his new Stratford Court property with (from left to right) Unity’s chief executive Ali Akbor, director of regeneration Wayne Noteman, board member Shazia Khan and Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning Cllr Richard Lewis

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for regeneration, transport and planning added: “Stratford Court is a great demonstration of how we can work with providers and developers to create homes that fulfil a specific housing need.

“With an ageing population, we need to provide homes that cater to a range of needs and that embody the best in design and environmental credentials.

“Sited in the heart of the community, these properties make effective use of the land and provide truly affordable homes.”

Tom Riordan, chief executive at Leeds City Council said: “Over the years Unity Housing has played an important role in helping to provide homes in Leeds that meet people’s needs and aspirations.

“Unity’s aims are well matched with our vision for Leeds and we’re looking forward to working with them now and in the future.”