Background and business case

Salford-based housing association, Salix Homes has transformed a derelict former women’s hostel in Salford into much-needed social housing.

Joan Lestor House on Ellesmere Street, Little Hulton, has stood empty for more than five years, becoming a target for anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

Salix Homes bought the site and has now converted it into nine modern, one and two bedroom apartments for social housing rent.

It is among the first social housing to be built in Salford for several years.

Salix Homes worked alongside its partner contractor Emanuel Whittaker to completely remodel the building and transform the eyesore site, which had become a blight in the local community.

The £800,000 project has been partially funded thanks to a £234,000 grant from Homes England Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme.

Joan Lestor House, which was originally named after the Labour MP Baroness Lestor of Eccles, was built in 1999 and provided a refuge for single homeless women until it closed down.

Partners involved

  • Salix Homes
  • Emanuel Whittaker
  • Salford City Council

Programme Costs

Total scheme costs: £800,000

Value of Affordable Homes Programme support for scheme: £234,000

Scheme size – 9 units – All social housing


The scheme launched in October 2019 with Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett cutting the ribbon alongside Lee Sugden, chief executive of Salix Homes and some of the new residents. This is providing some of the first new social housing in Salford for several years and brings an empty building, that was a target for ASB, back into use.

Lee Sugden, chief executive at Salix Homes, said: “With the lack of social housing being a prominent issue across the whole of the UK, we’re very proud to officially open our fantastic new social housing development, which is providing nine, modern new homes for people in housing need.

“With 6,000 people on the housing register in Salford alone, not only have we provided a roof over the head of those that need it most, but we’ve also given a new lease of life to this once-abandoned building, which had become a real blight in the community.

“Salix Homes is passionate about delivering more social housing in Salford to help tackle the housing crisis, so the official opening of Joan Lestor House marks a very proud moment for us and we hope the residents will be very happy in their new homes.”

Lee Sugden, chief executive at Salix Homes