Liverpool City Council has announced the first wave of properties to be built for its new ethical housing company – Foundations.
A report to the council’s cabinet says it has identified council owned land in north Liverpool which could deliver the first 120 homes – some of which would be built especially for foster carers and the elderly.
The land is situated between Denford Rd, Ackers Hall Avenue, Dunchurch Road in the Yew Tree area and has been identified as good potential for housing development, as it is located in primarily a residential area with good amenities including access to local schools and colleges and good road network as it is close to Queens Drive.
A former council owned housing estate, the land has historically been cleared and left vacant. The site contains a small park and associated area of green space; these facilities will be excluded from the development site and the design phase of the contract will consider how these facilities could be enhanced through the development.
Foundations, which aims to deliver 10,000 new homes over the coming decade, is the flagship housing policy for Mayor of Liverpool who wants to use the company to rebalance the city’s social housing stock, revolutionise the rent to buy sector and drive up council tax receipts for the council.
Formally established in January, it has been tasked with creating bespoke properties for the homeless, foster carers, large families, the elderly and people with a disability and to improve the availability of good quality, affordable homes in the city.
Mayor Anderson said: “I’m delighted at the progress that is being made to get Foundations active in the housing market so we can start to change the lives for thousands of families across this city.
“This site is in Yew Tree is the first of a number of sites that Foundations will be developing in its first two years of operation, breathing new life into communities all across the city and providing quality, affordable homes for people with many differing needs.
“A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to get Foundations up and running and the recruitment of the team has already begun with a new Chief Operating Officer and Chairman to be announced next week and we will be announcing more sites in areas of Liverpool, from Dingle to Speke, in the near future with the aim of delivering 2,000 homes by the end of 2020.
“I expect to see a lot of activity as the team beds in and plans develop. Foundations is going to transform Liverpool’s housing market and on top of it all it will provide a much needed boost to our council tax revenues.”
Foundations, which is earmarked as a £500m programme, is seen as fundamental to addressing both the city’s need to develop 30,000 new homes by 2030 and its economic future as surveys show the city’s housing supply dominated by small terraced houses, which skews the city’s council tax revenues.
Another benefit of the new company is that it will enable the council to future proof the housing market for an ageing population, ensuring people can live independently for longer and provide intermediary accommodation that help keeps people out of long-term hospital stays. It will also help reduce properties becoming void and reduce the chances of properties being converted into inappropriate Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
For Foundations the profits of both house sales and rentals will be returned to the council, as the only shareholder in the company, with a percentage reinvested in new stock. It takes forward an award-winning approach that has led to the build of 750 new properties with Liverpool Mutual Homes and Redrow, via the Liverpool Housing Partnership, the profits from which have been used to create 450 affordable homes.
Foundations will also underpin the council’s other major strategic housing goals such as the renewal of older neighbourhoods and increasing the levels of home ownership in the city by offering tenants rental products that will enable residents to move from rental to home ownership.
The full build costs of the scheme are estimated to be between £9m and £16m dependent upon land condition, design and build quality.