Council tenants can bid for funds

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Tenants from around Leeds are set to make the most of fresh opportunities to bid for funds which can make a significant difference in their communities.

More than 150 neighbourhood projects across the city have already received support from funds allocated by local Housing Advisory Panels (HAP). With over £600,000 allocated so far this year, the council is keen to stress there is still time for communities to make the case for funding for local projects.

Coun Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, said: “The Housing Advisory Panels provide a great opportunity for people living in our communities to find out more about plans for the city, to become actively involved in delivering projects that will add real value to the areas they live in and to make sure projects planned by the council link with the needs, wishes and values of the people who live in the city.

“I’ve seen great examples of the difference projects can make, such as Halton Moor Juniors football coaching and Rycroft Green community garden, improving the quality of local communities. I’d encourage anyone interested in getting involved to contact us to find out more.”

Ted Wilson, Chair of the HAP Chairs meeting, said: “Tenants and communities can get in touch with the Housing Advisory Panels to let the council know what the most crucial issues they want to be addressed are and suggest projects and activities which could be funded to make a difference.”

Projects don’t have to be huge – some cost less than £100. Equally, there have been bigger investments of money over £30,000. The Leeds City Council investment for local Housing Advisory Panels (HAP) means there is a funding pot £1.32million.

The regular meetings not only look at finance and investment in community schemes, but also provide a chance for tenants to learn about local services and help shape them to better meet the needs of local residents. The event on October 7 was the first meeting where all HAP members met together to share progress, and was a chance for involved tenants to hear about the plans for investment in council housing in the city from Simon Costigan, Chief Officer for Strategic Housing and lettings for sustainable communities, from Chief Officer for Housing management, Liz Cook.

The Housing Advisory Panels support a range of environmental and community projects that benefit council tenants, and the communities in which they live. Anyone wanting more information about accessing funding help or any council tenants interested in doing more in their community by volunteering to be a panel member should email housingadvisorypanel@leeds.gov.uk, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/hap or phone 0113 378 1340.