Liverpool City Council is taking a bold approach to renovating vacant homes by putting them up for sale for as little as £1.
The properties will be available to purchase by local people that are willing to refurbish them to the Decent Home Standard and help areas in desperate need of regeneration.
The cheap sales are part of a bigger initiative to bring 179 homes back into use across Liverpool in areas such as Kensington, Granby and Picton. Councillors noted that the plans will include a pilot 'Homesteading' scheme which could potentially see local residents pick up as many as 20 houses for just £1.
Officials added the Homesteading initiative will also see the creation of an 'Own Place' model meaning the local authority will hand over vacant properties to The Riverside Group.
The company has been responsible for reinvigorating other parts of the Merseyside city and has so far brought 250 premises back into use. Under the agreement The Riverside Group would refurbish the houses and offer them for sale at less than a quarter of their market value.
For local people taking over the properties under the £1 initiative they will be expected to fully refurbish the homes and then live in them for a minimum of five years. However, during this time they are forbidden from sub-letting to other tenants looking for a house.
Councillor Ann O'Byrne, Liverpool City Council's cabinet member for housing, said: "We want to find innovative ways of bringing houses back into use and attracting people back into our neighbourhoods – whether that’s through offering homes for £1, or working with Registered Providers to refurbish homes and selling them at discounted prices."
The new scheme has come to pass after talks between the council and developer Leader1 broke down. The company had been scheduled to tender a £25 million regeneration project to restore hundreds of homes in the "Granby Triangle". However, the local authority pulled the deal after Leader1 failed to meet the deadlines for signing the contract.
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