LEEDS couple Sylvester and Naomi Johnson are toasting half a century of living in their Burley home.
Sylvester, 83, came to Leeds from Jamaica in 1962, joining his mother, aunts and uncles who had already emigrated and had found homes through Aggrey Housing which later became Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association LYHA.
Naomi, 85, joined her husband two years later and in 1966 they moved into their first home in which they have lived for the last 50 years, raising three children and 11 grandchildren.
Mr Johnson still has his original Aggrey Housing rent book, which records that his rent in 1966 was £2 per month.
He said: “Coming to Leeds in the 1960s wasn’t without its challenges, but we were willing to work hard and build a life for ourselves here, bringing up our family in this house which has been our home for 50 years.
“Aggrey Housing, and later LYHA, has always looked after the house and we have been very happy here.
“We’ve seen many changes in the last 50 years but one thing that hasn’t changed is the care and attention of LYHA for the house.
“It’s meant we’ve never needed to worry about maintenance costs, which meant we could focus on family life.”
Lisa Pickard, Chief Executive of LYHA, presented the couple with a bouquet of flowers to mark the anniversary.
She said: “As a Housing Association we provide individuals and families with choices that meet their needs and aspirations.
“Fifty years ago we provided Mr and Mrs Johnson with an affordable rented home that enabled them to build a new life and as a result bring up a stable family and add enormous value into the community where they live.”