Leeds housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise celebrated its 30th anniversary by welcoming high profile speakers to its Annual General Meeting in Chapeltown.

Former trade union leader Baroness Brenda Dean headed the impressive list which included the Lord Mayor of Leeds (Councillor Jane Dowson) and Arthur France MBE, chairperson of Leeds West Indian Carnival.

Following a welcome from Unity chair Shruti Bhargava, guests were treated to a performance from locally-based RJC Dance.

Everyone was also given a copy of a souvenir brochure charting Unity’s milestone achievements since 1987.

Ali Akbor, chief executive of Unity Homes and Enterprise, said “the meeting was a fitting tribute to the board members and staff who have worked so hard over the last three decades to establish the association’s reputation.” 

He continued:

“Unity was set up because of an urgent requirement to address the housing needs of black and minority ethnic communities in Leeds. 

“Our founders deserve great credit for what they did and we have come a long way since then. 

“Unity now owns more than 1,200 properties for tenants from all communities and all ethnic backgrounds.

“Unity Enterprise runs three business centres that deliver jobs and boosts the local economy, whilst Unity Employment Services helps tenants and surrounding communities to access work and training opportunities. 

“But despite the excellent progress made, it is clear that the necessity for BME-led housing associations such as Unity is as great now as it was three decades ago. We look forward to the next 30 years.”   

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