Hous­ing chief builds for fu­ture

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY JOHN FISHER

ALTHOUGH LEEDS Jewish Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion has re­spon­si­bil­ity for 483 prop­er­ties, it’s a “much more in­ti­mate” or­gan­i­sa­tion than new chief ex­ec­u­tive Lee Bloom­field is ac­cus­tomed to.

The44-year-oldMan­cu­ni­an­hasjoined LJHA af­ter five years as direc­tor of op­er­a­tions for Rykneld Homes in north-east Der­byshire. His 15 years of se­nior man­age­ment in so­cial hous­ing also in­cludes time as head of hous­ing ser­vices at East­lands Homes in Manch­ester.

Mr Bloom­field backs LJHA’s 10-year busi­ness plan, fo­cused on ren­o­vat­ing ex­ist­ing prop­er­ties. Some of the gen­eral hous­ing stock dates back 50 years or more. Cut­backs have meant that few grants to­wards new builds are now avail­able from the Homes and Com­mu­ni­ties Agency. The last build, of seven four-bed­room houses, was in 2011.

Deal­ing with a smaller num­ber of clients would al­low him “a closer work­ing re­la­tion­ship with ten­ants and res­i­dents” and to “push up their sat­is­fac­tion level”. He also wanted to im­prove”bog-stan­dard” com­mu­ni­ca­tions, par­tic­u­larly with clients com­fort­able in the dig­i­tal world — the LJHA port­fo­lio in­cludes af­ford­able hous­ing for younger peo­ple.

As LJHA does not at­tract lega­cies, rent col­lec­tion re­mains the key source of in­come. He is tar­get­ing in­creased fundrais­ing through so­cial events.

Mr Bloom­field added that he was “re­ally en­joy­ing the com­mu­nity fo­cus work­ing for a smaller or­gan­i­sa­tion al­lows. A lot of the is­sues are the same in a Jewish hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion. Be­ing Jewish gives me the un­der­stand­ing of the com­mu­nity and is­sues faced.”


Lee Bloom­field at work at LJHA

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