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New community strategy to improve quality of life and make a difference in Bradford

Manningham Housing Association (MHA) has published a new three-year Community Investment Strategy to build on its award-winning work to support neighbourhoods in Bradford district during and since the pandemic.

The 22-page document, Improving Quality of Life and Making a Difference, follows the completion of an in-depth community consultation process which sought the views of MHA tenants, staff and key partner agencies in Bradford and Keighley.

The previous strategy, which covered the period from 2019-2022, delivered a series of hugely successful community initiatives including Building Bridges Bradford, Let’s Get On, BAME Ladies Smashing Boundaries and Young in Covid.

More than 4800 local people were actively involved in the projects which collectively attracted over £391,000 in external capital and revenue support funding.

In 2021, MHA triumphed in the Outstanding Approaches to Communications category at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Northern Awards, with staff praised by the judges “for their incredible work with tenants and residents during the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Last year, the association’s Community Engagement Team secured the Northern Housing Team of the Year Award for their success in delivering Building Bridges Bradford, devised to bolster community resilience and bring individuals and families from diverse backgrounds together through social action activities.

The new MHA Community Investment Strategy 2023-2025 focuses firmly on shared community priorities identified in the consultation.

These include reducing health inequality, tackling social deprivation, combating poverty, improving training and employability, addressing fuel poverty, increasing energy efficiency, sustaining tenancies and lessening the impact of welfare reforms, the rising cost of living and soaring energy prices on household budgets.

The document also sets out a three-year action plan to be reviewed annually with new opportunity-driven initiatives being added as appropriate.

Sadar Uddin, MHA Community Partnership and Investment Manager, said: “The previous Community Investment Strategy achieved so much despite the challenges of Covid-19.

“With these restrictions gone and with knowledge gained from the consultation exercise, we believe the new strategy will enable MHA to use our internal resources and attract external funding to maximise benefits and improve the quality of life for our residents and communities.”

Ulfat Hussain, MHA Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations, said: “We are proud to be so much more than a housing provider.  MHA is equally committed to our community investment offer which has been carefully crafted to meet the needs of local people.

“Our Community Investment Team is renowned for its forward-thinking approach to community development, creating opportunities, housing solutions, learning, health and wellbeing and many other innovative initiatives that improve the quality of life for our residents.

“Through our new Community Investment Strategy, we will strive to be pioneers in devising projects that truly make a positive difference.”

Barrington Billings, MHA Chair, said: “The Board was very pleased to be heavily involved in the development and approval of the revamped Community Investment Strategy which encapsulates strategic thinking at its best.

“The many achievements of the previous strategy further enhanced MHA’s reputation for delivering first class community development programmes in Bradford district.

“I believe the new document will become the next chapter in the association’s success story.”

The MHA Community Investment Strategy 2023-25 is available to read on the association’s website.

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Picture Building on success: (left to right) Simi Amini, MHA Community Development Officer; with Sadar Uddin, Community Partnership and Investment Manager; Ulfat Hussain, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations; and Harry Manford, Neighbourhoods Team Leader. Notes to editors About Manningham Housing Association Manningham Housing Association (MHA) has a proud track record of delivering homes and services to communities in Bradford and Keighley. It was founded in 1986 following a piece of research on the housing needs of Black and Asian communities in Bradford. This research proved that the needs of the South Asian community were not being addressed. With an annual turnover of £8.2 million and a staff of 42, the association now manages more than 1,400 homes for over 6,000 residents.  Around 75 per cent of MHA properties are large family homes with three or more bedrooms.  Over 80 per cent of MHA residents are of South Asian origin but the association proudly serves all of those in need. MHA holds a G1 rating for governance and a V1 rating for financial viability from the Regulator of Social Housing.  In addition to holding the Customer Service Excellence quality mark, MHA is the first housing association in the country to be officially accredited for its work in promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. In 2022, MHA won the British Standards Institution Users Award for Sustainability, the Northern Housing Team of the Year Award, the Northern Housing Tenant of the Year Award and the West and North Yorkshire Chamber Equality Trailblazer Award.

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