Originally established as Liverpool Habitat for Humanity, our charity traces its roots back to the devastation of 9/11.
Our founders celebrated the ethos of building communities together and creating harmony and reconciliation on the balcony of the Liver Building to a crowd of 3,000 people on September 11th, 2002 – exactly one year after the terrible Twin Towers attack.
Having just been gifted with 2.2 acres of land in Granby Toxteth by the Liverpool Roman Catholic Archdiocese, we embarked on a journey to build 32 homes together, with literally thousands of volunteers from all walks of life and from every corner of the globe coming to Liverpool to help build a community.
The Charity had also gathered a passionate and experienced Board of Trustees from many disciplines and our first two staff members were sponsored by Maritime Housing Association’s charity, Heartlands.
Plans for our 32 homes off Kingsley Road were drawn up by Wirral-based architects Ainsley Gommon and unveiled in June 2003. Father Peter Morgan of the neighbouring St Bernard’s RC Church participated in a sod-cutting ceremony in January 2004 and just a few months later our patrons, Lord David Alton, Cllr. Gideon Ben-Tovim and the late Akbar Ali, MBE, helped plant an olive tree on our site. This symbol of peace reaffirmed the charity’s commitment to reconciliation and bringing people together.
Our first key handover in September 2007 was a joyous occasion with our patrons again in attendance, together with home partners, volunteers and supporters. A catering van served up scouse and there was entertainment from local groups Urban Strawberry Lunch, drum orchestra BeatLife and Liverpool singer/songwriter Jennifer John.
A few celebrity visitors have popped in to see us too; American singer songwriter Nell Bryden, X-Factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson, Liverpool born singer Elvis Costello and the world famous Harlem Globetrotters to name a few.
We’ve also faced adversity along the way. A devastating fire destroyed our first three homes in 2006 when they were almost complete and, more recently, one of the worst housing recessions in living memory saw construction work on site come to a grinding halt. Now though, with fantastic support from many organisations, including the Sanctuary Group, Liverpool City Council, the Homes & Communities Agency, Wienerberger and the 75 Engineers regiment of the Territorial Army, the newly named Housing People, Building Communities has a bright future ahead.