Housing boost

£1 houses attract more than 1,000 bids

More than 1,000 people are competing to buy 20 Liverpool homes for £1.

The city council announced in February that it was launching the pilot scheme as part of plans to breathe new life into vacant properties in Granby and Picton.

There was an overwhelming response with over 4,000 people initially registering an interest.

Formal applications opened last month, and when the deadline passed at midnight last night, 1,036 residents had submitted a bid.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “There has been an amazing response to this pilot scheme and it has captured the imagination of many people.

“It is part of my commitment to bring 1,000 empty properties back into use and help as many local people as possible get onto the property ladder.

“We are looking for people who have a genuine commitment to bringing these properties back to life and turn them into a home they are proud to live in.”

Applicants must live or work in Liverpool, must be a first-time buyer and must be employed. They must also agree to live in the property for a minimum of five years and not sub-let it within this time.

Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “We know how important owning your own home is to local people, and that’s why we’re doing everything we can to bring empty homes back into use.

“We will now begin the hard work of sifting through the applications to see who meets the criteria and identify those who have made it through to the next stage.”

Residents who are successful in obtaining a home will be expected to refurbish it to Decent Home Standard within 12 months. It must be in a reasonable state of repair, be warm, weatherproof and have reasonably modern facilities.

It is thought around £35,000 will need to be spent on each property and short-term financial assistance may be provided to people where required.

On completion of the works, the property will be inspected to ensure the work has been carried out satisfactorily. The property freehold will then be transferred from the city council to the purchaser.

The homes are in three areas – Webster Triangle, Granby and Arnside Road.