Canopy Housing volunteer painting wall
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LandAid supports Canopy Housing to bring three empty properties back to use in Leeds

Fiona MacGregor | 13.06.17

Thanks to LandAid funding, Canopy Housing is now well on its way to bringing three empty properties back to life as affordable homes for young people at risk of homelessness in Leeds. Not only will these renovated houses provide a safe home for young people but the project also supports the young people involved to gain construction skills. So far 11 unemployed young people and a further 35 volunteers have undertaken construction training on the houses.

Canopy Housing’s ‘self-help’ model helps young people to create a home in the properties by involving them in painting and decorating, and choosing their own décor and furniture. The finished accommodation will be ready for them to move into with all the furniture, floor coverings, curtains, appliances, pots and pan, crockery and cutlery, bedding etc. they need.

But on top of this they will have received high quality construction training. Diverse teams of volunteers work alongside Canopy staff and tradespeople, learning and passing on skills: painting and decorating, plastering, carpet fitting, basic joinery, as well as receiving individual support towards employment. This increases participants' employability and helps ensure that future tenants have successful tenancies with Canopy. People in housing need in Leeds are given the opportunity to have a fresh start, a solid, safe and stable foundation from which they can go on and achieve their dreams.

And all this was made possible by the Carter Jonas Pedalthon and sponsorship from Palmer Capital. Work on the empty home sponsored by Palmer Capital started in March 2017. Since then they have made great progress stripping the house back, and soon they will start skimming and plastering the whole property, installing a new bathroom and kitchen and painting the woodwork. Canopy’s housing worker is in the process of identifying prospective young tenants for the house. Once their references have been secured and checked, they will begin work along with the site team, making the property their home, and moving in late June 2017.

If you would like to come along and see the work in action, LandAid and Canopy are organising a project visit in Leeds, late morning on Wednesday 28 June 2017.

Please contact lauren.haigh@landaid.org if you would like to attend.