Latch completes 100th home (Added 21/04/22 )
On Thursday 21 April 2022, we handed over the keys to our 100th home in the city for tenants in urgent housing need.
This important milestone is the culmination of our work over more than 30 years in Chapeltown, Harehills and Burley, some of the most deprived areas of the city. It comes at a time when the need for quality homes for those in housing need has never been greater and is set to grow further.
The mid terrace back to back property in Harehills has been completely transformed from a run down, empty and derelict property into a comfortable new home that will house a family with up to two children. The project involved a complete rewire, central heating installation, insulation, plastering, fire doors and full redecoration. The renovation was made possible thanks to funding from the Leeds City Council right to buy grant, the LandAid Foundation and Triodos Bank.
With the addition of this 100th home, Latch is now able to help almost 200 adults and children in Leeds each year to gain an important new start in life and progress towards independent living. There are over 5,600 people currently homeless or living in poor quality housing in Leeds and it is estimated that over 4,700 privately owned homes in the city, like the 100th home transformed by Latch, remain empty (many derelict) despite this deepening housing crisis.
James Hartley, CEO of Latch explains:
“We are thrilled to reach this important 100th home milestone and to have provided the bricks and mortar to help almost 500 people gain a fresh new start in life over the past decade. Comfortable, high quality housing where our tenants can feel secure is the foundation of what we provide but we also offer a whole lot more. This includes personal support and individually tailored training to provide our tenants with any skills that they may need to find work, gain confidence and move on to the eventual goal of independent living. We provide them with everything that they need to support them make positive changes in their lives.”
We also provide training opportunities for the long-term unemployed, through our traineeships. Trainees learn vital skills in construction whilst working alongside staff on the property renovations.
Ryan Jeffers, who was a key team member on this recent project, secured permanent work with us following the successful completion of a traineeship, explains:
“I learnt a huge range of skills during my time as a trainee with Latch and am proud that led to paid employment. It’s been a real privilege to see this 100th home through from derelict empty property to completed beautiful home.”
Sadly the housing situation in Leeds is set to worsen, including an increase in both the number of people in housing need and the number of properties lying empty. Increased costs for building supplies and other materials also means our work will become more expensive just as the need is getting greater.
But we are determined to swim against the tide and continue its vital work over the months and years ahead. Work is progressing to secure additional funding to add to that already raised to create six new high quality homes, housing up to 12 people, over the next year. The growing problem of fuel poverty will also be tackled through our ongoing programme of super-insulation installation.