Homeless charity Leeds Action to Create Homes (Latch) has announced plans for an ambitious £1.8m project to purchase and refurbish empty homes in the eastern districts of the city.
The two-year project, which is being backed by £1.2m of financing from ethical bank Triodos, comprises eight two and three-bed properties and eight one-bed self-contained units that have all been empty for over six months.
The work, which will achieve high quality standards and create sustainable and low-energy housing, will mainly be carried out by Latch staff and volunteers and will also provide work experience and training opportunities for local homeless people.
Formed in 1989, Latch specialises in the refurbishment of derelict and run-down houses in the Chapeltown, Harehills and Burley areas of Leeds in order to provide supported housing for people aged 18-64 who are homeless or in accommodation need. All Latch's tenants commit to a support programme in order to help them achieve successful tenancies before they move on to independent living.
The charity, which employs 12 people, currently manages 66 housing units across Leeds. 34 of these are owned by LATCH and the remainder are leased from various partners such as Connect Housing, Unity Housing, Together Housing, Leeds and Yorkshire Housing and Leeds City Council.
James Hartley, CEO, Latch, said: "We are really pleased that Triodos Bank have supported Latch's work by making the loan funding available. The new homes that we will create will help change people's lives and transform the communities in which we work."
Matthew Boggan, Relationship Manager, Triodos Bank, said: "It is estimated that there are currently around 3000 empty properties across Leeds. Projects such as this are therefore vital if we are to bring this unused stock back into circulation and help meet the huge demand for affordable housing in the city. We look forward to working with Latch as the project develops."
For further information please contact:
PR and Comms Manager, Triodos Bank
T: 0117 311 0229
M: 07817 413 792
About Triodos Bank
Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking using the power of finance to invest in projects that are good for people and the planet. Triodos uses its €12 billion in assets to create social, environmental and cultural value in a transparent and sustainable way.
With UK operations based in Bristol, Triodos Bank has branches in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany and an agency in France. Globally, Triodos Bank has microfinance projects in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and is a founding member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a worldwide network of 36 banks seeking to transform finance into a vehicle of positive influence.