An award-winning project to bring empty homes back into use in Granby has welcomed its first new tenants as part of National Empty Homes Week.
The scheme, developed by Neighbourhood investor, Plus Dane Group, working in partnership with Liverpool City Council and Lovell, has brought 25 empty homes back into use on Granby’s Beaconsfield Street for a mix of affordable rent and sale with incentives for first time buyers.
The project was recognised last month as winner of the Your Move Property Regeneration 2013 for its innovative design to preserve the character of the homes which were in a very fragile condition by saving the original façades, complemented by four new build homes to complete the scheme.
As part of Empty Homes Week, a nationwide campaign to celebrate the success of initiatives that bring empty homes back into use, Cllr Anne O’Byrne, Cabinet Member for Housing, toured the new homes this week and welcomed the first residents to move in.
Louise Davies, Director of Programme and Partnerships at Plus Dane Group, said: “We are delighted to have been able to deliver such an innovative scheme which has completely transformed these homes on Beaconsfield Street, while retaining their unique character.
“This development is part of Plus Dane’s long-term commitment to regenerating Granby through bringing empty homes back into use and developing new homes, working closely with local residents.”
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “The regeneration of Granby is a major priority for us, so it’s great to see the first tenants moving in to these fantastic, refurbished properties – and the perfect way to mark National Empty Homes Week.
“The work being done on Beaconsfield Street is a great example of the wider work we are doing, with our partners, to transform housing in the Granby Four Streets, bringing empty properties back into use and delivering attractive, affordable homes that people can be proud of.
“We know that local people have waited for too long to see the improvements this area so desperately needs, but now we are beginning to make real progress. There’s plenty more to come in the coming months, and we’ll be working closely with the community to make sure they are at the heart of all the work we are doing to breathe new life into the area.”
One of the first to move into Beaconsfield Street, local Granby resident Elizabeth Robinson was originally looking for a bungalow due to health problems when homes in Beaconsfield Street were completed, but, after seeing the homes develop, she was keen to try and secure one. As a newly-wed, her and her new husband both wanted to stay in the community, but needed a new home that better met their needs.
Elizabeth said: “As a local resident I had watched the homes develop but didn’t think I’d be able to qualify for one. Due to health problems I sometimes have trouble with stairs and so had been looking for a bungalow, but when Plus Dane told me I was eligible for one of the new homes and showed me round I was delighted.
“It was absolutely perfect for me, I love gardening and there’s a lovely space at the back for me to make my own which was one of the first things I did, there is enough space for me to fit a stair lift should stairs become a problem for me in the future and its warm and very efficient to run, we’re very happy here.”
Image: (l-r) Cllr Ann O’Byrne and Plus Dane’s Louise Davies welcome the first tenants to move into the newly refurbished Beaconsfield Street properties.