Gertrude Paul Court, a recently completed affordable housing development in Leeds, has made it to the final round of nominations for a prestigious national award. This development, named after Gertrude Paul, who holds the distinction of being Leeds’ first black teacher, has been recognised for its innovative design and commitment to providing affordable housing.

Gertrude Paul Court consists of 24 flats and is one of the two blocks in the Unity Homes and Enterprise project located on Leopold Street in Chapeltown. The scheme aims to provide housing for individuals aged 55 and over, offering 30 one and two-bedroom homes. The larger of the two blocks, Gertrude Paul Court, has been shortlisted for the Best Affordable Housing Development (less than £10 million) category at the Inside Housing Development Awards. The award acknowledges developments that establish new communities and create high-quality, desirable living spaces that are within reach for residents financially.

The official opening of Gertrude Paul Court took place in March, when Heather Paul, Gertrude’s daughter, inaugurated the development. The event brought together tenants, project partners, and notable guests, including representatives from the Leeds City Council, such as the Leader and Chief Executive. As part of the opening ceremony, Heather unveiled a specially commissioned artwork honouring her mother’s legacy, which now adorns the interior of the building.

The Unity Homes and Enterprise scheme forms part of a broader £9.3 million affordable housing initiative, encompassing a total of 63 homes. Among these properties, the remainder comprises the creation of a new cohousing community called Chapeltown Cohousing.

The successful realisation of the project was made possible by significant financial support. Homes England contributed £1.4 million in grants, while the Housing Infrastructure Fund allocated £1.34 million towards its development.

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 winners of the Inside Housing Development Awards will be announced at a ceremony scheduled to take place in London on Friday, September 29. Gertrude Paul Court and its contribution to affordable housing and community development will be vying for the top spot among other notable projects from across the country.