City’s housing vision laid out

Liverpool City Council is setting out a three-year vision to create better homes, more jobs and increased prosperity for local people

The Mayoral Cabinet will be asked, on Friday 19 July, to endorse Liverpool’s Housing Strategy for 2013-16.

The strategy includes:

Building on the progress made by the city’s £130m Housing Delivery Plan by delivering a better choice of good quality homes and more affordable properties in every part of the city.
• Driving forward with the Empty Homes programme, to bring hundreds more properties back into use, with a particular focus on former Housing Market Renewal areas which have suffered from the withdrawal of funding.
• Ensuring housing programmes drive the economy and create local jobs and apprenticeships.
• Working with landlords to drive up the quality of the private rented sector.
• Managing the impact of welfare reform on residents, and providing more housing support for the city’s ageing population
• Bringing rough sleepers off the streets and preventing homelessness.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Improving our housing stock is one of my top priorities. I promised to build 5,000 new homes and bring a further 1,000 back into use by 2016 and we are making fantastic progress. But there’s still much more to do if we are to fulfil our aims of giving everyone in Liverpool access to a decent home, in a decent neighbourhood.

“This is an ambitious strategy, which will support my priorities by addressing a wide spectrum of housing needs. It will enable us to strike the right balance between building new homes and refurbishment and help us clamp down on irresponsible landlords who allow their properties to rot.

“The strategy will also enable us to better target support for our most vulnerable residents, including those affected by the Government’s welfare reforms. And it will help us ensure housing delivery boosts our economy by creating jobs for local people.”

The Liverpool Housing Strategy highlights the importance of the council delivering innovative projects to drive forward housing transformation. Current initiatives include a pilot scheme offering homes for a pound, to help breathe new life into the Granby and Arnside Road areas of the city. Meanwhile, a £3 million mortgage scheme with Lloyds Banking Group is seeing the council help dozens of local families into their first homes by offering loan ‘top-ups’.

The Mayor has also launched a search for an organisation to become Liverpool’s official Housing Partner, to help deliver 1,500 new and 1,000 refurbished properties for the city.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “Our vision for Liverpool is to deliver a good mixture of high quality homes, across the city, that fully meets the needs of all current and future residents. This strategy will help us achieve those aims.

“We are facing real economic challenges, with the withdrawal by the Government of some of our key funding streams. But we are not shying away from the challenges, nor lowering our ambitions for housing in this city. Continued investment in housing will drive up the quality of people’s lives, support the wider regeneration of our city, create jobs and boost business.

“Working with partners we are making real progress in delivering the housing this city needs and it’s fantastic to see so many major schemes on site, across the city. This strategy will help us build on this work and provide the way forward for the on-going transformation of housing in this city.”

The strategy supports the Mayor’s target of delivering 5,000 new homes and bringing a further 1,000 properties back into use over the next three years. The city is already making real progress in reaching the Mayor’s target, with 30 live housing developments currently en route for completion in the city, delivering 2,500 homes.

About housing in Liverpool

• Liverpool needs to build almost 41,000 new homes by 2028 to meet demand.

• Of the 5,000 new homes the Mayor has pledged to deliver by 2016, almost a third will be in the most deprived areas of city.

• The Mayor is committed to creating 17,000 jobs through the construction of new homes and schools over the next four years

• Around 33% (or 49,143) of the city’s private rented properties fall below Decent Homes Standard. The council is working with landlords through its ’10 Point Pledge’ to drive up standards in this sector.

• The city council has drawn up a new ‘hit-list’ of the top 1,000 empty properties in the city, with an empty homes ‘hit-squad’ set up to take firm action to bring them back into use.

• More than 100 firms attended the Mayor’s Bidders Event on 1 July to appoint a Housing Delivery Partner for Liverpool. The contract for the new partnership will be awarded in January 2014.

• There were more than 1,000 applications for the 20 properties offered by the city council in its pilot ‘Homes for a Pound’ scheme. The homes are expected to be allocated next month.

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