Hip flats to woo youth

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 16, 2010

A novel plan to offer fashionable and affordable housing targeted at young professionals in Leeds is to be launched in a bid to attract young people to the community.

The idea has come from Leeds' newly hired Jewish community development executive, Susie Gordon, who is developing a three-year strategic plan to reverse the numbers of young people leaving the community and strengthen its demographic base. She believes traditional community plans which rely on running events for young people is not enough.

Mrs Gordon said: "To ensure the continuation of its future the community needs to invest in this. With local authority funding being cut all over the place, the older community will need a firm base of younger people moving in. The attraction would be looking at how we can help first-time buyers and professionals move here.

The 33-year-old, who worked on similar property schemes for six years for Leeds City Council, added: "We need to provide some funky flats and have some kind of mortgage scheme to help people find a deposit. We do it with sheltered housing already. My vision is to have liveable nice flats that they can afford and not have to rent or pay an extortionate amount of money to buy. To have part ownership to set people up for life, and rival places like London."

Last Friday, the first batch of questionnaires Mrs Gordon has developed as a market research tool went out to local organisations. In just under a week, over 80 replies have come back to help her establish what is needed.

Leeds Jewish Representative Council President Hilton Lorie said: "We think she has made a great start. She has got some good ideas and plans."

Last updated: 10:43am, December 17 2010