Liverpool to expand empty homes plan

Liverpool City Council is to discuss a £5m strategy to bring a further 2,000 empty homes back into use at a cabinet meeting on Friday 19 December.

The 10 point plan includes a range of initiatives, which includes providing additional funds for the compulsory purchase of rundown properties from owners.

The proposals include:

  • Establishing an empty homes task force which will draw in expertise from the public and private sector, community organisations, social enterprises and housing associations
  • Additional funds for acquiring and compulsorily purchasing properties and a voluntary acquisition scheme which will see homes sold on the open market following improvement, or leased to housing associations
  • An expansion of the Healthy Homes scheme which tackles poorly maintained properties and then bills the owners for the work
  • The launch of Homes for a Pound Plus, a variation on the Homes for a Pound schemes but where the council will make properties structurally sound with owners required to carry out internal refurbishments
  • The creation of a loan and repair scheme to help owners make properties habitable
  • The introduction of an interested developer list for small investors, local builders and accredited landlords who are interested in acquiring and refurbishing empty properties in the city. They will be connected with owners looking to dispose of properties

The £5m allocated for the scheme is from the council's capital programme, which the council said will be further enhanced by private investment, the recycling of funds through loan repayments, sales revenue, income from leases and charging owners for work carried out in default.

The 2,000 homes being targeted through the plan is in addition to the 1,000 empty properties being refurbished through the council's partnership with Redrow and Liverpool Mutual Homes.

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Im surprised Big Joe is even charging a pound. Doesnt he normally give stuff away – or is that just green space and parks?

By Bob Dawson

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