National recognition for new housing scheme named after inspirational Leeds teacher

(R to L): Unity chief executive Cedric Boston with Heather Paul, Unity chair Shruti Bhargava, community artist Marcus Browne and Leeds City Council leader Cllr James Lewis at the official opening of Gertrude Paul Court

A recently completed affordable housing development named in honour of Gertrude Paul, the first black teacher in Leeds, has been shortlisted for a high-profile national award.

Gertrude Paul Court, containing 24 flats, is the larger of two blocks of an innovative Unity Homes and Enterprise scheme at Leopold Street in Chapeltown comprising 30 one and two bedroomed homes for people aged 55 and over.

The project has been shortlisted by the Inside Housing Development Awards for Best Affordable Housing Development (less than £10 million) for “a development that creates a new community and a desirable, high-quality place to live that residents can afford.”

Gertrude Paul Court was officially opened in March by Heather Paul, Gertrude’s daughter, at a celebratory gathering attended by tenants, project partners and guests including the leader and chief executive of Leeds City Council.

Heather also unveiled a specially commissioned artwork celebrating her mother’s legacy which is on permanent display inside the building.

The Unity scheme is part of a wider £9.3 million development of 63 affordable homes.

The other properties form a brand new cohousing community, Chapeltown Cohousing.

Homes England provided £1.4 million in grant support to the project with the Housing Infrastructure Fund allocating £1.34 million.

Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise chief executive, said: “Gertrude Paul was rightly revered for her absolute commitment to improving the life chances of her pupils.

“Alongside our focus on providing high quality affordable homes, Unity is equally driven by a desire to create life opportunities and address inequalities in local communities.

“We are therefore doubly proud that this development, which carries Gertrude’s name, has received national recognition by being shortlisted for such a respected national award.”

The award winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Friday 29 September.

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