Liverpool City Council is planning to start a housing company in the New Year to deliver 10,000 rent-to-buy homes across the city.
A report to the council’s cabinet on Friday 15 December will recommend the creation of Foundations, a company which will aim to “dramatically shake up the city’s housing market”.
The homes will be offered as rent-to-buy properties, and will offer packages to tenants that take a percentage from rent towards a deposit.
The council will be the only shareholder in the company, allowing profits of both house sales and rentals to be returned to the council. A percentage of this will be invested in new stock.
The homes will focus on using council-owned land and the refurbishment of existing vacant stock, with a programme of works including adaptable housing for elderly or disabled residents.
Other homes that will be developed by Foundations include housing for people looking to downsize; larger homes for families looking to become foster parents; housing for rough sleepers and homeless people; and homes for affordable rent.
Alongside these, Foundations will consider other property development opportunities “that may be commercially viable”, including shops, offices, and other business premises.
Liverpool Council predicts the company will create around 2,000 new jobs.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “This new housing company will radically reshape Liverpool’s housing market and is called Foundations because that is precisely what it will provide for generations of people.
“Foundations will also help the council benefit from the additional Council Tax we collect from increased housing, like we have already with the 8,000 homes I created in my last mayoral term.
‘’With a lack of government support Foundations is the only logical step. We have stock that can be refurbished and we have land that can be built on so once the company is established we can hit the ground running.
“This will be a win-win for everyone as the council will be able to increase Council Tax, influence the quality of the housing and support people who want to buy by turning rent into a deposit. This company has more than just a social value, its business model also stacks up as a serious investment in the future of the city.
“As we’ve shown through the purchase of the Cunard Building, which now generates £2m a year for the council, our invest to earn strategy works and profits from this new company will also be reinvested into council services to offset the damaging cuts this city has experienced these past seven years.”
The creation of Foundations is expected to be ratified at Liverpool’s next full council meeting in January 2018.