Breathing new life into empty homes

A large former council property in Chapeltown has just been refurbished by Unity Housing Association to turn it into a six-bedroom family home.

The Victorian detached house on Sholebroke Avenue, Leeds, was previously used by the NHS and has been empty since the 2009.

As part of the councils objective to bringing empty properties back into use, it has worked in partnership with Unity Housing Association to negotiate the sale of the property to bring it back into use as a family home which has been let to a family on the Leeds Housing Register.

As part of the refurbishment the property will benefit from many energy saving measures including wall/cavity insulation and solar hot water. These improvements will make the house much more energy efficient and affordable for the new residents. Unity Housing Association awarded the refurbishment contract to local builder CW Christopher who employed two local people to work on the refurbishment.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development said:

“We have been undertaking a lot of work across the city with both the private and public sector to try and bring empty homes back into use.

“We are well aware of the need for more homes, and this is one excellent example of the council working with partners to offer families and people on the housing register in Leeds a good home.

“Unity Housing have done an excellent job and it is great to see a large family house opened up to a family needing the space on the housing register.”

Wayne Noteman the regeneration director at Unity Housing Association said:

“In the absence of lots of funding being available to build new homes, the increasing need for social housing and the need to bring empty properties back into use, the refurbishment of this and other properties like it shows what can be achieved when organisations work together to bring these valuable resources back into use.

“The property was built around the 1900 and is situated in a conservation area, with this in mind a great deal of effort was made to retain as many of the original features as possible”.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk