Liverpool City Council launches rent to buy firm
Liverpool City Council has set up its own housing company to deliver 10,000 new homes over the next 8-10 years on a rent to buy basis.
Foundations will build from scratch on brownfield land as well as converting many empty existing homes, particularly in the Kensington, Warbreck and Anfield areas.
The properties will be operated on the basis of a proportion of rent going towards building up a deposit, so that the occupants will eventually be able to buy the property. Owned entirely by the council, the company will be funded initially from a £500 million investment fund and profits from sales will be reinvested into the firm to build more homes.
Liverpool's mayor Joe Anderson said that a lack of government support had prompted the move, adding: "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."
While much of the housing will be used to tackle homelessness, a further aim will be to try to prompt younger people to stay in the city through giving them a new avenue to become homebuyers.
Liverpool has recently seen the start of a boom in new building aimed at professionals, following the pattern of cities like Manchester by constructing thousands of city centre apartments in major developments.
The Liverpool City Region mayor Steve Rotherham has also launched a plan to build 25,000 new homes in the area by 2022.
This will include "every type" of tenancy, from rental properties aimed at single professionals to family homes for owner-occupancy, he pledged.