£14m empty homes plan set out

Liverpool City Council has laid out plans for how it will spend more than £14 million in Government funding, to bring hundreds of empty properties, across the city, back into use.

A report will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet on Friday 25 January, setting out how the city will use the funding – from the Government’s ‘Clusters of Empty Homes Fund’ – to revitalise 306 homes.

Liverpool has identified the following areas as priorities, with the £14 million investment broken down as follows:

• Anfield Village – £10m; 156 empty homes brought back into use
• Tuebrook and Stoneycroft – £979,310; 45 empty homes brought back into use
• South Liverpool – £1.04m; 73 empty homes brought back into use
• Kelvin Grove/Welsh Streets – £2m; 32 empty homes brought back into use

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “These plans will accelerate housing renewal in the city, providing modern, affordable homes which people want to live in. They will help revitalise our neighbourhoods and support our plans to bring 1,000 vacant homes back into use over the next three years.

“Housing plans for Anfield Village, the Welsh Streets and other areas of the city are progressing well and the allocation of this funding means we can continue to drive forward with the plans, delivering long overdue housing improvements in the areas which need it most.

“We are consulting with residents at every step of the way and we will continue to work closely with them as these plans become reality.”

Work is now underway on the £36 million ‘Anfield Village’ and Rockfield housing schemes. The work is set to breathe new life into housing in the area, with a total of 562 properties previously earmarked for demolition – 156 of which are vacant – to be retained and refurbished.

£10 million from the Clusters of Empty Homes Fund has been allocated to the scheme, with the remainder coming from the city council and Registered Providers owning properties in the area – predominantly Your Housing Group.

Liverpool is also driving forward with plans to bring 45 empty properties back into use in Tuebrook and Stoneycroft. Liverpool Mutual Homes will purchase and refurbish the vacant properties and offer them for affordable rent. Just over £979,000 has been allocated to this scheme.

And in South Liverpool, the city council will work with Plus Dane to refurbish 105 houses, to create a combined mix of affordable and market rent properties. As part of this, 37 terraced houses in the Welsh Streets which had previously been earmarked for demolition will be retained and refurbished – including 9 Madryn Street, the childhood home of Ringo Starr. A total over just over £3 million has been allocated to south Liverpool.

Liverpool’s funding forms the lion’s share of £16.5m awarded to the City Region in Clusters of Empty Homes Funding. The money was allocated following negotiations between the region’s ‘Restore’ Consortium.

The remainder of the funding will be used for housing regeneration schemes in other parts of the city region, with over £2.5 million allocated for projects in Sefton, Wirral and Knowsley.