Family planning helps to ease a Leeds housing problem

Meeting demand for Jewish social housing in Leeds, £1 million worth of family homes have been completed.

Seven families will benefit from the four-bedroom houses on Leeds Jewish Housing Association's Queenshill estate in Moortown. Three town houses and four semi-detached properties replace demolished one-bedroom flats.

The project was made possible by a government grant and £500,000 from the Burton family, founders of the high street clothing chain. It follows on the heels of a £6.6 million LJHA sheltered housing scheme completed earlier this year.

On Tuesday, Matthew and Vita Crawford were handed keys to their new house ahead of their move in two weeks. The couple, who emigrated from Israel to find employment 12 years ago, were struggling with four children in a small three-bedroom property.

"We didn't think we would ever move," Mrs Crawford said. "My husband is self-employed repairing cars and computers.

"I care for our special needs son, which has made a real difference in our finances. We have to have special equipment because he was born with physical and mental disabilities and we needed a bigger house for him.

"It would be hard without the housing association. They help in every way they can for people in our position."

LJHA's project director Craig Simons said the new properties would accommodate Jewish families in "desperate need of housing", while freeing up other properties to reduce its waiting list.

"There has always been need for family houses, but it is increasing," he explained. "We are getting working people who can't afford housing and more people who have been made redundant."

    Last updated: 3:17pm, September 22 2011