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BME-led Unity celebrates 30 years of making a difference

WALKING THEIR TALK: The Unity team

Unity Homes and Enterprise housing association, based in Chapeltown, Leeds, has just marked 30 years of serving the community.
 
Unity has been in the area since1987 and was set-up to meet the housing needs of black and minority ethnic Chapeltown – it has since expanded its reach to other parts of Leeds and services those from all ethnic backgrounds.

The company branched out into business support in 2000, when they launched Unity Enterprise, which champions entrepreneurs. Unity Business Centre – the largest of Unity’s three business centres, which also include Chapeltown Enterprise Centre and Leeds Media Centre has more than 80 different enterprises operating from the hub.
 
In addition, Unity Employment Services (UES) was set-up in 2011 to support Unity tenants and their surrounding communities in accessing employment and training opportunities. To date, more than 600 people have been directly assisted by UES.
  
Ali Akbor, Chief Executive of Unity Homes and Enterprise, said:
 
“Unity’s founders deserve immense credit for stepping forward to establish the organisation at a time when there were huge inequalities in housing.
 
“Thanks to their efforts, the vision of a succession of board members and the professionalism and dedication of our staff over the last 30 years, Unity is now rightly regarded as one of the country’s most successful and forward-thinking BME-led housing associations.”

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council , joined Akbor in praising Unity’s efforts and impact:
 
“Unity Homes and Enterprise has played a leading role over the last 30 years in helping to transform Leeds into the modern, outward-looking city it has become.
 
“I have visited a number of Unity’s affordable housing schemes and am constantly impressed by the quality of homes it provides.
 
“However, Unity is much more than just a housing association and is rightly highly-regarded for its positive work in the communities it serves.” 

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