St. John’s House, providing 23 high-quality affordable homes within walking distance of Leeds City Centre, has been officially opened. The £2.68m development has also made a positive impact on the local area replacing the former Kendall Carr sheltered scheme which had been empty for some time.
The scheme was opened by Lisa Pickard, our Chief Executive, and Councillor Debra Coupar, Executive Member for Communities at Leeds City Council. The event was a chance to showcase the new, modern, energy-efficient homes; celebrate the successful partnerships that delivered this complex project, and to meet new residents to hear how the new homes have made a difference to their lives.
The scheme was designed together with Brewster Bye Architects to complement and blend in with both Denison House, a Grade II listed building next to the site, as well as the existing red-brick Victorian and Georgian terraced houses on nearby Hanover Square.
From start to finish, the project was an example of how strong local partnerships work well to deliver great quality homes including the architects, BWA Chartered Surveyors, and United Living, who built the homes to a high standard with local workforce and local suppliers.
An almost inner-city development required innovative solutions to fund the build. With support from Leeds City Council, who sold the land specifically for affordable rented homes, alongside a £680k grant from the Homes and Communities Agency and a £2m private investment from LYHA; not only were much-needed new homes created, but the community was also invested in.
Completed in May 2017, the one and two bedroom apartments have been let in partnership with Leeds City Council providing new opportunities for 23 families and households who were on the City’s waiting list and in housing need.
One of the new residents, John, a former accountant but now unable to work due to serious health issues, was seeking suitable accommodation following a relationship breakdown. He said: “St. John’s House is perfect for me as it has lift access. Where I was living before was an old building,
and I didn’t have any aspirations when I was there. The staff at Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association have been great. Everyone I’ve dealt with there has had my interests at heart and been so helpful. The future looks much brighter now I’m living in a beautiful new flat, close to the city centre, and with friendly neighbours.”
Speaking about the new homes, Lisa Pickard, Chief Executive of Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association said: “It’s a fantastic outcome. Within two years, an ambitious vision for the community has been realised, and excellent quality new homes provided. I’ve heard so many personal stories and experiences from our new customers and listened to why these new homes are so important to them. This is why we do what we do.
“From start to finish this project has been a great example of how through strong partnership working we’ve delivered local solutions and breathed some new life into an existing community, and created life changing moments for so many individuals and families in housing need.”
Charlie Dunn, managing director (North) at United Living, said: “The most rewarding part of working on a new build contract like this one, is the opportunity to witness residents moving into their new homes, and seeing the difference it makes to their everyday lives.
"Our strong partnership work with Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association reflects many of our core values, by allowing us to deliver a sustainable legacy for the benefit of the local community. We would like to wish new and future residents the very best in their new homes”.
St. John’s House is part of our ambitious growth strategy to provide new homes within the Leeds and Yorkshire region to help address housing need. In 2017/18, we plan to provide a further 107 new homes to add to the 121 new homes already provided in 2016/17.