Home is where the heart is
Published by Kelly Elliott for Keepmoat in Housing and also in Communities
From l-r Keepmoat Apprentice, Paul Stevens, Managing Director Chevin Housing Association, Amanda Garrard, Chief Exec of Unity Homes & Enterprise, Ali Akbor, Executive Member for Development and the Economy, Councillor Richard Lewis, Councillor, Mohammed I
More than 50 residents of new housing development The Beverleys in Beeston, Leeds flocked down to a ‘Home is where the heart is’ event recently to meet their new neighbours and mix with the local community.
Guests at the opening event were given the chance to meet their neighbours, local councillors and a number of people involved in the scheme’s development.
Upon arrival, the new residents were formally welcomed to their new homes by Unity’s Chief Executive Ali Akbor and Managing Director of Chevin Housing Association Amanda Garrard.
The Beverleys, which features 55 two, three and four bedroom properties, was built by housing and regeneration company Keepmoat, working in partnership with Leeds City Council, Unity Housing Association and Chevin Housing Association, part of the Together Housing Group.
The properties are a mix of rented and shared-ownership properties providing opportunities for first time buyers.
The Beverleys development has also brought about apprenticeships, work experience and training opportunities for local people. Among those to benefit were four apprentice joiners and bricklayers who were recruited by Keepmoat.
The project also safeguarded the jobs of a further 12 apprentices and created progression into employment opportunities for six unemployed local residents. During the event, guests had the opportunity to visit one of the new homes to catch a glimpse of what the development has to offer.
One tenant said: “I am really happy with the service that Unity has provided. I’m loving the house, the area is really nice and the neighbours are friendly. I can never imagine leaving this house!”
Councillor Richard Lewis, Executive Member for Development and the Economy, who also attended the event, said: “It is important that this development forms part of the wider regeneration of the area, such as the work due for completion through the PFI, and I am delighted that it has brought in employment opportunities and apprenticeships to the benefit of local people.
“It is really positive that these properties have been sold in such difficult economic times and that they have replaced poor quality housing, meaning improved living conditions for residents.”
The ‘Home is where the heart is’ event was followed by a buffet at Rowland Road Working Men’s club where residents were given the chance to get to know each other further.
The development of The Beverleys was coordinated by Leeds City Council, with the management of the new homes shared between Chevin Housing Association, part of the Together Housing Group, and Unity Housing Association.
Grant funding of £2.2m was awarded by the Homes and Communities Agency towards the project, following a successful joint bid by Chevin and Unity, with 28 of the homes for social rent and the remaining 27 available for shared ownership.
Martin Smithurst, Regional Managing Director at Keepmoat, said: “We’re pleased that the ‘Home is where the heart is’ community event has been so successful.
“Keepmoat is committed to working with our partners to create employment and skills opportunities for local people, and it’s great that we were able to do that at The Beverleys, in addition to providing much-needed new homes for the area.”
Wayne Noteman, Regeneration Director at Unity Housing Association, said: “Unity and its partners have worked with the local community to ensure this is a scheme that everyone is proud of and leaves a lasting legacy for the future.”
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