Working with CLH to engage communities in neighbourhood regeneration – Liverpool City Council

Posted on 10th November, 2017

Liverpool City Council (LCC) is an urban authority where low demand has contributed to housing market failure. Recent population growth is beginning to stabilise the market. LCC considers that Community-Led Housing supports its strategic priorities by increasing choice, creating more sustainable neighbourhoods and reducing vacancy rates. It also improves the environment and enhances equality and diversity.

Most homes created by CLH schemes are produced through the refurbishment of existing homes, although co-operatives have delivered new build schemes in the past. The Council provides land for CLH and transfers properties it previously acquired to CLH organisations for £1. It also provides advice and support. It is a condition of the disposal of land and properties that the homes created are affordable. LCC is keen to ensure a mix of affordable rent and low cost home ownership options.

Granby Four Streets Refurbishment

The Council is working with CLH organisations and others on the regeneration of Granby, a neighbourhood blighted for decades by empty and derelict dwellings. Following a series of stalled regeneration initiatives, LCC chose a different way of delivering housing renewal. In partnership with a range of stakeholders, it launched a £14m project in 2014 to return 110 empty properties to use.

Granby Four Streets CLT was established in 2011 as a vehicle for involving local people in the regeneration of Granby. It has acted as a catalyst, encouraging other organisations to commit to the area and attracting funding. Working with architecture collective Assemble and developer Steinbeck Studios, the CLT refurbished 11 empty properties that LCC transferred to it. It has produced homes for affordable rent and shared ownership and is due to refurbish six more properties. The CLT have made some of the refurbished properties available for sale using a resale covenant based on median wage levels. This is only the second such scheme in the U.K. and is an innovative mechanism for keeping these homes affordable in perpetuity.

The CLT has also established a community street market. It has secured Arts Council funding to convert two properties into a winter garden and space for artists and crafts persons. Terrace 21 Housing Co-op was formed to undertake a self-help housing project to refurbish five derelict houses.

Two Registered Providers are also involved – Plus Dane Group and Liverpool Mutual Homes, a not-for-profit tenant led housing association. They have refurbished 62 homes, transferred to them by LCC. The RPs match-funded government Clusters of Empty Homes grant. LCC is also running a £650,000 frontage improvement programme for 34 private home owners in the area. The council makes the upfront capital commitment and places a charge on the property which is repayable if it is sold within ten years.

The Granby Four Streets programme has attracted worldwide recognition and Assemble won the 2015 Turner Art Prize for its work in Granby CLT.

Full Case Study: Liverpool_CLH