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08.12.17

Liverpool Council to launch ‘ethical housing company’ to meet local need

Liverpool City Council is to deliver 10,000 new homes across the city through its own authority led housing company.

A report to the council’s cabinet next Friday will recommend the creation of the authority’s own ethical housing company in a big shake up of the city’s housing market.

The city needs an additional 27,000 homes by 2030.

The company, which will be called Foundations, is backed up by an estimated £500m, investment programme, which will utilise council owned land and refurbish vacant stock, delivering affordable homes for the homeless, fosters carers, large families, the elderly and those with a disability.

The council says that the programme will enable it to “future proof” the housing market for an ageing population, meaning that people will be able to live independently for longer and provide intermediary accommodation, enabling people to avoid long-term hospital stays.

The company, which is one of the main pledges of mayor Joe Anderson, is predicted to create 2,000 new jobs, and help residents towards owning a home.

The council also claims that it will enable the authority to act as an ethical landlord, helping to build sustainable neighbourhoods and offering tenants the security of tenure.

It is hoped that the formation of the company will also help to stop properties becoming void and converted into inappropriate houses in multiple occupation.

Profits of house sales and rentals will be returned to the council, which will be the only shareholder of the company, and a percentage will then be invested in new stock.

Mayor Joe Anderson said that the city needs a wider range of properties to meet the needs of its residents, helping them to own their homes through affordable rents which will allow people to save deposits.

He 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.”

The mayor went on to say that this will be a “win-win” for everybody as council tax increases - which will affect the quality of housing and support those who want to buy.

“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,” Anderson continued.

“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,” he said.

The company will be ratified at the next full council meeting in January, and will underpin the council’s other major strategic housing goals, such as the renewal of older neighbourhoods.

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