More than £200 million is to be spent in Liverpool, delivering 1,500 new homes and bringing a further 1,000 back into use.
Liverpool City Council has appointed its official Housing Delivery Partners – a consortium made up of private housing developer Redrow Homes, affordable housing provider Liverpool Mutual Homes (LMH) and its building contractor Willmott Dixon. Redrow Homes and LMH will jointly build 1,500 new homes and LMH will bring 1,000 back into use.
The ‘Building Our Future’ partnership, which will run for an initial five years, has the potential to attract over £200 million of private investment into the city, focusing on building the right homes, in the right place, at the right time.
Redrow will develop housing for sale bringing a range of executive homes to Liverpool and will identify and acquire land to enhance the Council’s own development sites. LMH will develop affordable housing by investing their own funding and by attracting grant funding. They will also be seeking to bring 1,000 empty properties back into use. Willmott Dixon will work on behalf of LMH to build new homes and refurbish properties to enable them to be brought back into use.
Liverpool City Council will provide strategic planning and housing need information, as well as selling surplus land to the partnership for development.
Land and investment will be brought together in a planned way, with any capital receipts generated by the sale of council sites and assets reinvested back into the Partnership.
Using their combined experience and expertise, the partnership will provide a wide range of house types from affordable to executive homes, without the council being required to fund the schemes from its own resources.
The partnership will also prioritise employing local people, providing training and supporting local supply chains, as well as developing and delivering complementary economic development projects.
The partnership will work on a wide range of initiatives to tackle empty properties, including those that have not been lived in for a long time, such as maximising investment from property owners and securing funding to bring houses back into use. Areas where groups of empty properties are most heavily impacting on streets will be particularly targeted.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson launched the search for a Housing Delivery Partner last summer as part of his plans to work with public and private sector organisations to drive up the quality of housing in the city. He said: “I want everyone in Liverpool to have access to a decent home, and that’s why improving our housing stock is one of my top priorities. I promised to build 5,000 new homes in Liverpool by 2016 and bring 1,000 back into use, and we’re already well on course to exceed that target. This partnership will allow us to do even more.
“We’re using this innovative approach to help us build on the fantastic progress we are making in housing in this city.
“It will unlock new investment opportunities and enable us to pool resources and expertise at a time which is vital when we are facing significant spending cuts.
“It will create new jobs and deliver new and refurbished properties in the neighbourhoods that need it most, as well as improving the lives of thousands of local people.”
The partnership will carry out a comprehensive review of the housing market across the city, to identify development and refurbishment opportunities – taking into account housing need and demand; the Council’s Housing Strategy; and the need to complement other actual and planned regeneration projects.
The two, full delivery programmes for each area of work – one for new-build and one for refurbishment – will be agreed by the partnership board, before being recommended to the Council’s Cabinet for consideration and approval in September this year.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “This new partnership will play a major part in the on-going transformation of housing in this city, and will help us build on the fantastic momentum we’ve created in recent years.
“It’s another great example of how we are finding imaginative ways of providing the type of good quality housing this city needs.
“Once the partnership is in place, we’ll be working together to drive forward some really important schemes which will increase housing choice and breathe new life into communities.
“The combined experience and expertise that this consortium brings with it gives me real confidence that we can make the partnership a massive success story for Liverpool.”
Welcoming the partnership, Redrow Homes (Lancashire) managing director Steve Greenhalgh, said: “We’re delighted to be part of a pioneering arrangement designed to deliver 2,500 much needed homes across the city.
“We’re particularly pleased that Redrow’s investment in private sale homes will help stimulate the creation of affordable housing, including the refurbishment of empty housing stock.
“The city-wide approach and joined-up thinking between the Council, Liverpool Mutual Homes and ourselves is what makes this project so exciting.”
Chief Executive at LMH, Steve Coffey, said: “This is tremendous news for us, residents and Liverpool as a whole – major changes are going to be made to housing right across the city.
“We’ve worked very closely with the Council since it transferred 15,000 homes to us in 2008, raising the standard of housing significantly during our initial five-year, £400m improvement programme. We have continued this approach since with our first new build developments.
“We share the Mayor’s vision and ambition to deliver new, high quality, sustainable housing and bring back into use empty homes to meet demand.
“It goes much deeper than just the physical buildings. We are creating resilient and resourceful neighbourhoods that address a wide range of issues such as tackling anti-social behaviour and helping people into work and training to make sure they are given the chance to lead enjoyable and
John Frankiewicz, divisional chief executive, Willmott Dixon Capital Works, said: “Willmott Dixon is delighted to be a part of this exciting and innovative partnership with Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Mutual Homes and Redrow Homes.
“This partnership builds on our strong track record of delivery within Liverpool, which recently includes constructing Notre Dame Catholic College and a new home for Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College. It will allow us to unlock employment and training opportunities for the people of Liverpool, an aspect of our business underlined recently when we won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
“We look forward to working with our partners to deliver new homes and bring empty properties back into use in communities throughout the city.”
Programme delivery will be closely monitored by the partnership, with quarterly and annual reports provided to the Council’s Cabinet.
The ‘Building Our Future’ partnership will be for a period of five years (2014 – 2019), with the option to extend for a further five years (2019 – 2024).
It 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.