Council set to invest £5 million in affordable, supported accommodation
Leeds City Council is set to approve a five million pound investment through a mix of grant and loan funding, to provide supported accommodation for some of the city’s most vulnerable adults, young people and families.
At the next meeting of the council’s executive board, members are expect to approve low interest loan funding of £3.03 million to St. George’s Crypt and Latch (Leeds Action to Create Homes), to develop and provide affordable, supported accommodation.
Should the loans be approved this would be the first time Leeds City Council has provided loan funding to support new affordable, supported housing to be developed in the city, enabling St. George’s Crypt and Latch to acquire and develop 45 new affordable, supported living units for people who are homeless or in housing need.
St. George’s Crypt is the council’s main provider of emergency accommodation and works with partners to prevent or alleviate homelessness. Its primary focus for many years has been working with the homeless, vulnerable people and those suffering addiction, primarily by supporting people who are rough sleeping to find accommodation and to help them gain skills and confidence to improve their future prospects.
St. George’s has the ambition to develop a total of 150 units of supported and affordable housing over the coming years, and approached the council for £2.35 million loan to help fund two projects, which will deliver 37 of those units.
The first project would see a 14 unit apartment development created to provide move-on accommodation for St. George’s clients. A further development of 23 units would also be created, along with communal facilities and a workshop to hold training and support sessions for tenants.
Latch has a proven track record of successfully renovating long term empty properties and bringing them back into use. They have submitted a proposal to the council for £676,000 to build or acquire and refurbish eight empty properties to provide affordable homes for people who are homeless or in housing need. Including four two-bed family homes and four one-bed properties for single homeless people. This is the first phase of a five year project wherein Latch will create eight new homes each year.
The council is also investing an additional £1.682 million into the scheme from the Right-To- Buy Replacement Programme fund.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities said:
“One of our biggest priorities – and challenges – is to provide truly affordable accommodation for those people who are in the greatest housing need.
“St George’s Crypt and Latch both have fantastic track records of working with homeless and vulnerable people, as well as helping to prevent homelessness in our city. By providing these loans to help them create 45 new affordable supported units we are investing in the future of our citizens and our economy.”
Martin Patterson, Development Director of St George’s Crypt, said,
“We at the Crypt are delighted to be able to work in partnership with Leeds City Council in providing much needed new homes for people who otherwise would often find holding down tenancies challenging. It is great to further our strong links with Leeds in this venture”.
James Hartley, chief executive of Latch said:
“It is tremendous that Leeds City Council is helping Latch to create new homes, improve communities and change people lives with this new and innovative form of funding”