Unity Homes & Enterprise
Supporting BME communities while building sustainable neighbourhoods. The fundamental goal of "Unity Homes & Enterprise" is to provide choice, while improving life opportunities and addressing inequalities.
About Unity Housing Association
Unity Housing Association is an organisation committed to building strong sustainable neighbourhoods through the provision of high quality housing and social and employment opportunities.
We are a modern, successful and visionary organisation that understands and represents the needs of all tenants of all ethnic backgrounds.
Unity was formed in 1987 with the aim of building a strong, BME-led, community housing association to meet the housing needs of black and minority ethnic communities throughout Leeds.
Two decades have since passed and Unity continues to be the lead BME housing association in Leeds delivering a range of housing and regeneration services as well as playing an important strategic role in the city.
For the past 25 years Unity Housing Association has been providing choice, improving life opportunities and addressing inequalities in Leeds. Our initial focus was on the Chapeltown area, we have since spread into neighbouring Harehills, across the city to Beeston and then most of the other inner city areas of Leeds.
Supporting BME Communities
Unity Housing Association serving BME communities since 1987
Unity began life in the Chapeltown area of Leeds working largely with the Black Caribbean community and then spread into the adjoining area of Harehills which has a large mixed Asian community.
Unity quickly broadened its focus to tackle the full range of housing needs of the BME communities across the city as a whole, with the aim of extending housing choice and improving integration. By 1997, when a ten-year review was undertaken, Unity was providing nearly 700 newly built or refurbished homes in some of the most deprived areas of the city.
In 2000 the association established a subsidiary company, now called Unity Enterprise. We are driven by offering both housing and business tenants a responsive and high level of customer service.
During the past quarter century Unity has added nearly 1200 affordable homes to local housing stock. We continue to be involved in regeneration and encourage enterprise to fuel the local economy. Our tenants play a growing role in everything we do. At Unity Housing Association it’s very much business as usual. We’re simply getting on with the job, as we look forward to the future – whilst celebrating our past.
Today, Unity is a thriving organisation totally committed to building strong sustainable communities through the delivery of the very best housing, social and employment opportunities.
1987 - Unity Housing Association is born
Following a meeting at the Roscoe Church, Chapeltown – The decision Is made to establish Unity Housing Association.
“When we met that Saturday … I never dreamed we would achieve this much.”
Georgina Webbe, founder member
1988 - Unity has it's first 13 homes
Unity’s property portfolio stands at 13 properties
1990 - Unity increase housing stock to 68 homes
Unity’s property portfolio increases to 68 properties including 30 as part of the organisations first development programme
1991 - Unity open new development scheme - Unity Close, Leeds
The Right Reverend Bishop Wood of Croydon and Housing Corporation Board member opens Unity Close a scheme of 20 family homes that takes the portfolio total to 159
1993 - Unity Housing Association appoint a new Chair
Clinton Cameron MBE becomes Chair; Unity adopts a 3 year business plan which sets out future growth, development and direction
1994 - Unity's new office - Chapeltown Road, Leeds
Unity moves into its new offices on Chapeltown Road. The office incorporates a striking new architectural frontage called “tangled roots.”
1997 - Unity's 10th birthday
Unity celebrates its first decade and demonstrates its maturity with improved accountability and more rigorous governance procedures
1998 - Unity's special guest
Unity’s reputation spreads far and wide with a visit from South African housing minister Mrs Sankie Mtlembi-Manhanyele. It also completes its first ‘in-house’ development scheme
1999 - Unity Housing appoint a new Chief Executive
Ali Akbor is appointed Chief Executive of the Association. Housing stock climbs to over 800 and the first Tenants’ Forum meets.
2000 - Unity Property Services is established
Unity takes over management of Chapeltown & Harehills Enterprise Ltd and sets up Unity Property Services now Unity Enterprise.
2002 - 15 successful years
Unity celebrates 15 successful years. Chairman Clinton Cameron MBE reflects on a proud past and predicts plenty of challenges in the future
2005 - Unity a growing "Enterprise"
Unity Enterprise, through Chapeltown Enterprise Centre and Unity Business Centre, offers over 90 workshops for local business and enterprises
2007 - 'Brand' new era
Unity launches its new brand which reflects its growing reputation both locally and regionally
2009 - Unity achieves 'Investor's in People' award
Unity achieves ‘Investors In People’ and takes over management of the Leeds Media Centre
2011 - Unity building for the future
Unity continues to build and invest in its existing properties with new developments across Leeds
2012 - Unity Housing Association's 25th anniversary
Unity Housing Association celebrates “25 years” of being a leading BME housing association in Leeds.
2013 - Unity Housing Association restored to former glory
The building underwent a dramatic transformation and has been restored to how it would have appeared in its Victorian heyday.