Affordable homes may be route to levelling up society, Leeds housing leader says

Affordable housing must lie at the root of Government plans to “level up” society, housing leaders warn, as the social disadvantages faced by black and minority ethnic communities are highlighted in the pandemic.

Ali Akbor, chief exective of Leeds-based housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise

Ali Akbor, chief exective of Leeds-based housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise, said a lack of targeted funding to address inequalities has led to disparities today.

Calling on Government to reject austerity, he said investments must to be made and top of the list should be a commitment to building many more genuinely affordable homes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Neighbourhoods with a high concentration of BME residents are often plagued by acute levels of social deprivation which impact on people’s health,” he said.

Ali Akbor, chief exective of Leeds-based housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise

“BME families often live in overcrowded properties and there was little new money for affordable family homes during the austerity years.

“The coronavirus outbreak has rightly led the Government to find tens of billions of pounds to support businesses and workers – resources that were previously unheard of.

"But worrying times lie ahead in the UK including a recession, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has already conceded will happen, and a likely surge in unemployment.

“Poorly paid workers, often of BME heritage, will undoubtedly be badly hit.”

Read More

Read More
Coronavirus pandemic will add to UK’s pressing social problems - Letters

He highlighted a decision to release £6.4m for emergency accommodation for 90 per cent of the country’s rough sleepers as “a prime example of what should have happened long ago.”

“Austerity cannot be used as an excuse for health and financial inequalities ever again,” he said.

“The economic recovery has to be for everyone. People of all ethnicities must feel they have a stake in the brighter future that hopefully awaits.”

______________________________________________________________________

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson

Editor