Bradford housing association handed £120,000 for community venture

Manningham Housing Association has been handed £121,531.34 to launch Building Bridges Bradford, a venture aiming to strengthen community cohesion.
Manningham Housing Association (MHA)'s building in Bradford.
Manningham Housing Association (MHA)’s building in Bradford. Credit: MHA

The Bradford social landlord Manningham Housing Association (MHA) has been awarded over £120,000 to run a series of projects to promote shared values and support people affected by COVID-19.

MHA, which manages over 1,400 homes in Bradford and Keighley, is one of nine organisations chosen to receive support from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Faith, Race and Hate Crime Grants scheme.

The £121,531.34 in funding will be used to launch Building Bridges Bradford, a new venture designed to strengthen community cohesion and tackle discrimination.

MHA’s community partnerships and investment manager Nasir Hussain, who oversaw the grant application, said: “MHA has a proud record as a community-led organisation of achieving real and meaningful change across Bradford.

“With this funding, we will be actively supporting people from diverse communities to come together in innovative ways to build new relationships, become better neighbours and strengthen cohesion in the district. 

“2020 has been difficult for everyone but we firmly believe that Building Bridges Bradford can be the catalyst to positively impact the lives of large numbers of individuals and families for many years to come.”       

Activities planned as part of Building Bridges Bradford will include activities such as workshops, online training and community events, all taking place in COVID-safe environments.

Sessions co-designed with service users and partners will also support individuals and families suffering from personal challenges made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic such as financial pressures, cancer and poor mental health.

MHA was the UK’s first housing association to be officially accredited for promoting diversity and inclusion and recently regained its BS76005 accreditation.

Lee Bloomfield, MHA’s chief executive, said: “This award will enable us to really step up our community engagement work. In addition to the government grant, we are putting in extra support from our own resources so we can do even more.

“There are several other grant applications in the pipeline as we work to deliver an ever-growing list of projects through our Community Investment Strategy which provides a framework for us to work with stakeholders to help local residents and build more resilient communities.”

Barrington Billings, chair of MHA, added: “Investing in and developing diverse neighbourhoods where people want to live and thrive is at the heart of MHA’s mission statement.

“Building Bridges Bradford provides a powerful vehicle for us to play an even greater role in strengthening community relations and social integration.”

MHA has 36 staff and an annual turnover of £8.2 million. It largely serves the South Asian community, as over 80% of its residents are of South Asian origin.

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