Development Conversation at Leeds Jewish Housing
Leeds Jewish Housing Association are currently talking with its residents and neighbours on plans to redevelop part of its Queenshill Estate in North Leeds. The Association, which celebrated its 65th Birthday last year, owns and manages some 484 homes in the Alwoodley and Moortown areas of Leeds.
Kate Pearlman-Shaw, Chairperson for LJHA, “providing an increasing number of homes for the Leeds Jewish Community is one of our key strategic goals as an organisation and as such we’ve been considering our options over the past months”.
The Association joined forces with the Leeds Jewish Representative Council in undertaking a research project into the current and future housing needs to inform its plans. Findings from the research included;
- The main areas of interest for Jewish housing being Alwoodley, Moortown, Roundhay and Harrogate
- An increasing number of households seeking rental accommodation
- Strong demand for specialist supported housing for older people.
Architects therefore have been engaged to develop practical ideas and solutions leading to this public consultation. These being a proposed 47 unit sheltered scheme for older people and a 36 unit general needs apartment block, 83 new homes in total.
Kate illustrates their vision, “We already have 3 sheltered schemes on site and a really strong demand for more older persons accommodation from the community, so this would be the final piece of the sheltered village we’ve built up over the past 35 years. All 4 blocks would be physically linked by enclosed walkways and are already located next door to the vibrant Ziff Community Centre where many support services are delivered so it seemed the only possible location. The apartment block will allow us to increase the number of homes we could offer right in the heart of our community for people under 60.”
“This idea is not without its significant challenges however, 22 existing tenanted homes currently sit on the earmarked land, so our number one priority, if this were to go ahead, would be to support those residents and identify suitable new accommodation for them.”
Mark Grandfield, Chief Executive explains why, “We are based in an area of Leeds with very high land values, given we are committed to only charging social rents to our tenants this makes the purchase of development land locally a near impossible task and such we have been forced to consider developing on our own estate or not to develop more homes at all”
The first stage of this process is now open consultation, first those 22 most directly affected tenants then with other tenants, neighbours and the wider Jewish Community, seeking feedback on their thoughts and aspirations for the area before taking any further steps.
Mark Grandfield continues “we absolutely value our existing homes and tenants but we are also acutely aware of local housing pressures and take the moral and social challenge to consider increasing our housing provision into the future very strongly, we fully appreciate this step may not be to everyone’s liking but we do believe it will be to the communities benefit in the long term.”
Should the plans turn into reality physical development would be at least 12 months away but this is certainly a hot one on locals lips now.
We are giving the community the chance to provide feedback on this development via a short survey here.
Please follow the link below (or copy and paste it in your browser) to share your views with us.
(Please click the image below to view the slideshow or artist impressions)