Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has joined senior representatives of Unity Homes and Enterprise, councillors and other project partners as construction work gathers pace at the housing association’s new £2 million affordable homes development in Armley.
The scheme, which includes six houses and eight flats, is on the site of the former Ancester public house at Armley Ridge Road which had been boarded up for several years before being placed on Leeds City Council’s list of ‘derelict and eyesore’ buildings.
The local authority repurchased the ground lease in 2014 and earmarked it for new affordable housing.
The site was purchased by Unity in September 2017 and construction work to build 14 affordable homes for rent commenced late last year.
Homes England has provided grant funding of £420,000 towards the project which is due to be completed in September 2018. The contractors are Esh Property Services.
Ali Akbor, Unity Homes and Enterprise chief executive, said: “We are very excited about the new development which increases Unity’s presence in Armley.
“It will deliver an excellent mix of properties, ranging from one-bedroomed flats to three-bedroomed houses.
“We were delighted that Rachel was able to join us and our project partners to review progress and we look forward to welcoming her back on site to see the final results.
“Unity has recently completed 58 new affordable homes for rent and construction work on a further 68 is about to begin.
“With many more exciting schemes in the pipeline, we are proud to be playing our part in delivering high quality properties and improving people’s lives across Leeds.”
Rachel Reeves said: “I was really pleased to see the great progress Unity Homes and Enterprise have made with their new project at the site of the derelict Ancestor pub at Armley Ridge Road.
“Local residents will benefit from this £2 million investment, which will help to regenerate the area by building new affordable homes.”
12 students from the School of Built Environment and Engineering at Leeds Beckett University were also invited to take part in the site visit. They were accompanied by Dr Quintin Bradley, Senior Lecturer in Planning and Housing.
Dr Bradley said: “Our students are the planners and developers of tomorrow.
“It is an absolute inspiration for them to learn from Unity who are building affordable homes on brownfield sites like this one, and making them energy efficient and built to lifetime homes standards.
“This shows what wonders social housing providers can do.”