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Chairman of largest housing co-operative dies aged 71

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Chairman of largest housing co-operative dies aged 71


Published by 24publishing for in Housing

Chairman of largest housing cooperative dies aged 71 Chairman of largest housing cooperative dies aged 71

A Ugandan refugee who helped create the largest mutual housing co-operative in the UK has died at the age of 71.

Mr Shantilal Makwana helped set up and run Belgrave Neighbourhood Co-operative Housing Association (BNCHA) for more than three decades.

Today tributes have been paid to Mr Makwana, who passed away after a short illness at his home in Acorn Street, Leicester.

The co-operative is run entirely by its tenant members, who own and manage their homes collectively, acting as their own landlords.

Mr Makwana came to Leicester after fleeing war-ravaged Uganda in the 1970s. He became involved with the Belgrave Co-operative shortly after immigrating and was a pivotal voice during the campaign to save much of Belgrave’s housing from demolition, which led to the co-operative being formed.  

LHA-ASRA Group manages the administration for the Belgrave Co-operative and today paid tribute to Mr Makwana.

LHA-ASRA Group Chief Executive Matt Cooney said: “Mr Makwana was a terrific ambassador for Belgrave and attended events right up to his passing. The most recent of which was to welcome Canterbury House, in Melton Road, into the cooperative after it was purchased from Riverside Housing Group last month.

“The cooperative under Mr Makwana’s leadership has flourished and it is today one of the most successful housing cooperatives in this country because of his hard work and dedication.

“Mr Makwana was also a very important member of LHA-ASRA Group’s residents’ forums and it is a huge setback for us to lose someone of such importance from our inner sanctum.

“I would like to send my deepest sympathies to Mr Makwana’s family at this difficult time and to thank him publicly for all of his hard work, which has helped support so many people in Leicester. He will be sorely missed by us all.”  

Mr Makwana leaves his wife, two daughters, three grandchildren and one great grand daughter.


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