A £2 million affordable housing development on the site of an eyesore former pub site in Armley has been officially opened.
The Armley Ridge Road scheme of six houses and eight flats is based on the site of the former Ancestor public house, which had fallen derelict.
Supported with a loan from Charity Bank and grant funding of £420,000 from Homes England, developer Unity Homes and Enterprise bought the ground lease from Leeds City Council in September 2017 to build affordable homes for rent.
Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves officially opened the development after visiting the construction site last spring.
On her return to the site, Ms Reeves said:
“This scheme is absolutely fantastic for the people of Armley. We are in huge need of affordable homes in this area, but also of affordable homes of a such high calibre.
“So many of the private lettings in our community are sadly not of a decent standard. That’s why there has been such demand for properties like these. 14 families who previously didn’t have this sort of housing are now adequately housed. Not just with the great quality housing, but with a security of tenure that they probably didn’t have before.”
Ali Akbor, Unity Homes and Enterprise Chief Executive, said:
“The scheme will provide another boost to Armley and is very much in line with our mission to assist in the revitalisation of local communities through the provision of high-quality affordable homes, stimulate social and economic regeneration, improve life opportunities and address inequalities within sustainable neighbourhoods.”
New resident Rachael Donoughue, who moved into a three-bed property with her young family in March, invited Ms Reeves and Mr Akbor to have a look around. Ms Donoughue said:
“I love it here and so do the kids. As well as arranging the move, Unity offered help to get me back into work and I have since got a new job. I also recently passed my driving test.
“Being able to settle so quickly and easily into our new home has made a huge difference to our lives.”
Unity, Homes England and Leeds City Council all invested in the development. Unity Housing Association was formed in 1987 with the objective of building a strong, BME-led, community housing association to address the needs of black and minority ethnic communities in Leeds.
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