Leeds proud of its £6m housing 'commune'

By John Fisher, January 28, 2013
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Sandi Firth and LJHA's Stephen Lewis and darren Cooper (Photo: John Fisher)

Sandi Firth and LJHA's Stephen Lewis and darren Cooper (Photo: John Fisher)

A £6.6 million sheltered housing project has been described as “the closest thing to a commune in north Leeds”.

The comment was made by Leeds Jewish Housing Association chair Stephen Lewis at the naming ceremony for Stonegate Way, a 60-apartment complex whose features include a hydrotherapy spa and a kosher shop.

“We have taken the best of Jewish ethos, of community and care, social responsibility and respect for the elderly, and have created an environment where people can be with friends and family,” Mr Lewis said.

In addition to the communal facilities, residents could join activities at the nearby Maz community centre.

The project had received “enormous help” from a number of organisations. Mr Lewis singled out the Homes and Communities Agency for a £4 million grant, the Co-operative Bank for a £2.6 million loan and Leeds Ajex for helping to furnish the communal lounge.

Unveiling a plaque in the lounge entrance, Channel 4’s Jewish Mum of the Year Sandi Firth told the 70 guests: “Forty years ago, Leeds Jewish Housing gave my children and me a roof over our heads when we needed it most. They made us feel safe and secure.”

Last updated: 11:45am, January 28 2013