Liverpool to establish new strategic housing delivery team

Liverpool City Council has announced plans to establish a new strategic housing delivery team to help it deliver a ‘new generation’ of council homes.

The announcement comes after late last year, the government gave the council permission to build council housing for the first time in over 30 years while effectively writing off the £735 million the council owed in housing debt. Last November the council was also successful in becoming a Homes England funding partner.

Last Friday 31 July, the council’s cabinet considered a report to approve the new housing delivery team, the plans for which will see staff transferred to the council from the arms-length management organisation Liverpool Foundations Homes (LFH).

Liverpool City Council says the new housing delivery team will help Liverpool develop 30,000 new mixed tenure homes across the city by 2030.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool pioneered public sector housing and my formative years were spent growing up in a council tenement, so I am extremely proud that, 150 years on from the city leading the way on social housing, we are now able to do so again.

“The city has a diverse population with differing housing needs and aspirations so it is important that we do what we can to help people in every situation to get the home they deserve, and we need to rebalance the city’s housing market with a wider choice of the homes that people need.”

The council has pledged to build a variety of new council houses to suit all of Liverpool’s residents, including social and affordable rent as well as rent-to-buy and shared ownership tenures.

The new housing team will be tasked with bringing forward a viable portfolio of sites for housing development, while working with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Homes England to promote larger, strategic sites.

The team will also oversee the council’s plans to retrofit 4,000 homes to help Liverpool hit its target of becoming a carbon neutral city by 2030.

LFH will continue to operate as a separate entity owned by the council, able to build homes for sale and rent in partnership with the council and act as its managing landlord.

LFH’s chair Frank Hont will remain in place, while its chief executive Mark Kitts will be seconded back to the council to oversee the new housing team. LFH’s development director Louise Davies will lead on housing delivery and enabling for the council.

Hont said: “It is completely understandable why the council, like many across the country, has taken the decision to change the operational focus of housing delivery, as a by-product of changing government policy.

“The council is faced with making very difficult choices and I am pleased to say that housing and the role of Foundations will continue to play a vital role in supporting the council’s ambitions.”

Liverpool City Council has also launched a public consultation until October on its proposed new landlord licensing scheme. The new, slimmed-down scheme would cover around 80% of privately rented properties in Liverpool.

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