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Social landlords boosting Liverpool mayor's new homes drive

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Social landlords boosting Liverpool mayor's new homes drive

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government

Social landlords boosting Liverpool's mayor's new homes drive Social landlords boosting Liverpool's mayor's new homes drive

Social landlords in Liverpool are helping the city's mayor to meet his ambitious housebuiling targets.

New figures, in the city’s annual Residential Development Update, show that 477 new homes were built in Liverpool in 2013, with work on a further 883 properties, at 32 sites, getting underway during the year.

The mayor, Joe Anderson, set the target in 2012 of delivering 5,000 new homes for the city by 2016, and the housing activity which has taken place over the last two years means that more than 3,560 new houses have either been completed, or are in the process of being built.

With planning applications from registered providers and private developers either submitted or approved for a further 4,116 properties, the city is well on course to exceed the Mayoral target.

The mayor of Liverpool, said: “These figures are really encouraging. I have pledged to deliver 5,000 new homes in this city because I know how important a thriving, prosperous housing market is for our future. To see us making such great strides forward gives me real optimism.

“These new homes are revitalising our neighbourhoods, providing the type of affordable housing that people want, and generating more council tax which can be ploughed back into services. Just as importantly, they are creating new jobs and apprenticeships and building confidence that Liverpool is a good, desirable place to live.”

The city council is working with a range of partners – including Registered Housing Providers and private developers – to deliver new homes in every part of Liverpool, as part of the city’s £130m Housing Delivery Plan. Areas benefiting from new housing include:

• Anfield – where the Parks scheme, delivered by Keepmoat, has provided 346 new energy-efficient homes, with 52 more under construction

• Edge Hill – where the £18.5 million Williamson Place scheme has seen Bellway deliver 168 new two, three and four-bedroom properties.

• Norris Green – where a scheme on the former site of the Boot Estate – delivered by Regeneration Liverpool, the city’s regeneration partnership – is delivering 107 two, three and four bedroom homes, for private sale, and an additional 60 homes for affordable rent.

• Knotty Ash – where Riverside have commenced a £6.3m development of 75 one and two-bedroom homes to tackle the shortage of smaller properties in the wake of the so-called ‘bedroom tax’.

• Speke and Garston – where South Liverpool Homes (SLH) is investing £20m in the delivery of more than 170 two, three and four bedroom homes for affordable rent, shared ownership and for sale.

Liverpool is also making great strides in achieving the Mayor’s target of bringing 1,000 empty properties back into use. Concerted work to identify 1,132 priority long-term empty properties in Liverpool, and a range of work, to track down and engage with owners and carry out enforcement action has helped bring 675 of those properties back into use, in the past year.

Major projects which are refurbishing vacant properties in the city include in Anfield, where the city council is working with partners including Your Housing Group to refurbish 550 homes, as part of the wider £260m regeneration plans for the area. In Granby, a £14m investment from Plus Dane, Liverpool Mutual Homes and community orgamnisations, will bring more than 100 properties back into use by 2017.

The Mayor added: “We are achieving great things by working creatively with our public and private sector partners – and delivering a number of initiatives to drive up the quality of the city’s housing stock and bring vacant properties back into use. There’s much more to do, but I’m delighted with the progress made so far.”

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “Our Housing Delivery Programme is having a real impact, and it’s pleasing to see so many new-build and refurbishment schemes taking shape in every part of our city.

“It’s vital for Liverpool that we provide the type of affordable homes that people want and tackle the problem of empty properties. In the difficult economic climate, that presents real challenges, but these new figures show that by taking an imaginative approach to housing delivery we can make a real difference to our communities.”

Other initiatives being driven forward by the city to deliver new and refurbished housing and support house buyers include:

• The Homes for a Pound scheme – a pilot scheme which is giving 20 local residents the opportunity to buy a house in the Granby and Picton areas for just £1, and refurbish it. The first house was handed over last year, with more to be announced in the near future.

• The Lend A Hand Mortgage scheme, which has seen the council team-up with Lloyds Bank to provide 25% mortgage top-ups for house buyers who are struggling to fund the deposit for a property. Launched in 2012, it has so far helped 64 people get onto the property ladder.

• The Mayor launching a search for a Strategic Housing Delivery Partner which can work with the Council to deliver 1,500 new homes for local people, and bring a further 1,000 back into use. The selected partner will be announced in the coming months.

The city council is working with partners, including private developers, registered providers and the Homes and Communities Agency to deliver housing schemes and draw down vital funding.

A consortium made up of the council, Plus Dane, Liverpool Housing Trust (Symphony Group), Riverside and South Liverpool Housing has been set up which aims to deliver 681 new homes across the city by 2015.

Liverpool has also achieved significant success in securing Government funding. The city was awarded £9.3 million in ‘Transition Funding’ at the end of 2011 for neighbourhoods worse affected by the cessation of the Housing Market Renewal programme. And £16.5 million in ‘Clusters of Empty Homes funding’ was secured in May 2012 which is being used to bring over 750 empty homes back into use across the Liverpool City Region.

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