BITMO stands for Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation. The council housing in Belle Isle is run by a Board with a big majority of elected Belle Isle tenants. The money for Belle Isle stays here and is spent on Belle Isle homes, services and support and opportunities for tenants and their families. Because decisions are made by Belle Isle tenants, our services are different from other parts of Leeds.
We have a team of caretakers who do repairs, look after green areas, and take away flytipping. Many landlords have got rid of caretaking services and replaced it with private contractors, who don’t have the same pride in the estates that they work on.
You can come into the housing office to see our housing staff face-to-face, five days a week. When you phone us your call will be answered by a member of our housing team based in Belle Isle who know where your home is. Many landlords have closed their public receptions and take calls through a central call centre.
We have two staff whose job is to help tenants get their full benefit entitlement and extra support where possible – like grants or household goods.
BITMO’s Board set up a Community Fund which pays out up to £70,000 a year to help with financial hardship, for environmental improvements in Belle Isle, as well as paying part of the costs of attending training courses to help you get a new job.
Please visit the BITMO’s GATE community centre, next to the housing office. There’s free tea and coffee, Wi-Fi, and computers. There is free food three times a week and a wide variety of activities. The GATE is open 9am-1pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 1-7pm Tuesday and Thursdays and 1-4pm one Saturday a month. You can get help with getting online – either to develop your skills or help accessing online services. Many of the activities in the GATE are run by Belle Isle residents. You are welcome to join in or be part of setting up a new activity.
If you want to link up with your neighbours, meet other Belle Isle residents who share the same hobby or be involved in running a group, please get in touch with BITMO’s Community Development Team. We have helped residents organise fun days and community clean ups. People have come together to
· go on walks and go fruit picking
· garden and grow food at the community garden or the community orchard
· cook and serve food with Belle Isle Community Kitchen or at other centres around Belle Isle
· fix and mend things at the Belle Isle repair café
You may have other interests – this could be anything from music and singing to angling to DIY. Please talk to our Community Development Team about any way you would like to be involved. There are volunteering opportunities not just at the BITMO’s GATE community centre but at other community centres and churches around Belle Isle.
If you are looking to find a new job, go on a training course, develop a small business or go to college, please talk to our Community Development Team. We can offer initial support and help you find the best advice and support.
Every five years you get a vote to say if you want BITMO to continue. If the tenants vote no, the estate would be managed by Leeds City Council. We think this would mean closing our housing reception, taking away the caretaking team, closing BITMO’s GATE and shutting the Community Fund. Please vote YES to BITMO every five years.
You can be part of running BITMO by becoming a shareholder. This means you can vote at BITMO’s Annual General Meeting, could become a Board Member and are invited to meetings and events during the year.