Canopy Housing, Leeds

Funding at a glance

Amount: £56,000
Approved: 2013

Canopy Housing works in the Harehills and Beeston areas of Leeds. The funding from the Nationwide Foundation supported the purchase and refurbishment of 10 properties, with the renovations being completed in March 2015. These properties provided homes for 39 people who were in severe housing need or homeless.

The project involved Canopy’s self-help model where future tenants participated in renovation work helping to make decisions about the property, such as the colour-schemes of the rooms. This approach helps promote a sense of ownership and commitment to the home, as well as providing practical skills. The properties come fully furnished, with bedding, towels and crockery – giving families a positive start to life in their new homes. Canopy Housing also provides holistic support from a tenant support worker who helps people overcome issues associated with their homelessness.

Case study of a tenant housed through the Nationwide Foundation’s funding:

Kevin was living in a Canopy home with his young family, however when the relationship with his partner broke down, he had nowhere to go and ended up homeless. He resorted to sleeping on friends’ sofas and using food banks to survive: eventually the stress and hopelessness of the situation began to affect his mental health. Despite this, Kevin continued to maintain good relationship with his children. At a loss of what to do to improve his situation, he returned to Canopy for help. The charity was able to offer him housing in a refurbished former empty property, just a street away from where his children live. Canopy also found him a volunteering work placement which has since led to full-time paid work. Kevin is now settled, much happier and continues to play an active role in his children’s lives. He has recently passed his driving theory test and his new employer is helping to pay for driving lessons.

More about Canopy, Latch and Gipsil’s combined success bringing empty homes back into use in Leeds can be viewed here.

Back to projects we funded 2013-16