Local firms to get chance to work with new city housing company

Liverpool City Council is planning to launch bespoke house refurbishment and house building procurement frameworks – giving local firms the chance to pitch for work from Foundations, the new ethical housing company established to create 10,000 new homes and refurbish dilapidated housing stock in the city.

Foundations is the flagship housing policy for Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson – 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.

The new frameworks will be designed specifically to enable Liverpool and Merseyside based businesses to pitch for work as part of the derelict refurbishment and new build programmes, bolstering the local supply chain.

The council’s procurement team have taken the first step to launch the new frameworks by publishing a soft market testing exercise with a questionnaire for contractors here.

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Foundations has the potential to be absolutely transformational in so many ways, such as by creating the right housing mix that the city needs and generating new council tax income which we can reinvest in services.

“But crucially it is also vital that as part of the construction programme that we give as many local businesses as possible the chance to bid for work from Foundations.

“We’ve already got a good track record of doing that with our schools investment programme, with 74 percent of the spending going to Merseyside firms helping create 2,000 jobs and 200 apprenticeships – and we want to replicate that with Foundations.”

The sector has until September 14 to reply, after which feedback will be collated and then used to fine tune the framework before its official launch at the end of September 2018.

Chair of Foundations, Frank Hont, said: “The sheer scale of the work that Foundations will be doing over the next few years offers a tremendous opportunity to local firms, ranging from the supply of materials or fitting out properties.

“The procurement framework aims to recycle as much of the spending as possible locally through the city region economy, into the coffers of local businesses and ultimately the pockets of local workers, benefiting households across the city region.

“It is an example of how the work that Foundations will be doing will have far reaching benefits that stretches far beyond just building new homes.”

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, driving up council tax revenue which is lower than many other areas because the city is dominated by small terraced houses in Bands A and B.

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 from remaining in hospital in the long-term. 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 it is the sole shareholder in the company, with a percentage reinvested in new stock.

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 products such as rent to buy.

The first wave of properties for the new housing company has already been identified, with 120 homes earmarked for land in Yew Tree between Denford Rd, Ackers Hall Avenue and Dunchurch Road.

Liverpool Waterfront