LIVERPOOL’S elected Mayor, Joe Anderson – who’s pledged to build 5,000 homes across the city in his first term – today (Feb 18) visited an award winning building site that’s already helping to put Liverpool on the map.
Holder of numerous national awards for its unique approach to providing affordable homes, Housing People, Building Communities is partway through building 32 three-bedroom terraced houses off Kingsley Road, in the Granby-Toxteth district of the city.
What makes these homes special is that the people who will eventually live in them help to build them, with support from other volunteers and using materials donated by some major names in the construction industry.
HPBC has teamed up with national housing and care provider Sanctuary Group for 23 of the 32 homes, with Sanctuary investing over £2 million in developing the site.
The land was gifted by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, reserve soldiers from the 75 Engineer regiment have helped build roads and sewers and local colleges use the site to provide apprentices and trainees with on-site experience.
During his visit, Mayor Anderson was introduced to home partners who are investing 500 hours of ‘sweat equity’ to help build their homes, in return for a £10,000 contribution to their housing deposit.
He also met with representatives of Sanctuary and international construction services company ISG, who are currently working across the high-profile £66+ million Exhibition Centre Liverpool and Pullman Liverpool Hotel development on the city’s waterfront. ISG and one of their sub-contractors Briggs & Forrester have been working with students from City of Liverpool College doing the first and second fix electrics on some of the HPBC homes.
Mayor Anderson said: “This is great innovation in action and is exactly the kind of thinking that is needed to tackle the national housing crisis. The work that is being done here is changing people’s lives, generating confidence and well-being, building and strengthening communities and it complements the house building programmes we are undertaking across the city, including our Homes for a £1 scheme.
“I congratulate everyone involved in HPBC, it is great partnership working and something everyone can be proud of. I’m also pleased to see that something delivered so successfully in Liverpool is quite rightly attracting considerable attention from all over the UK.”
HPBC’s chief executive Liza Parry added: “It was great to welcome the Mayor to our Kingsley Road development to see first-hand what we are achieving here. We’ve already had tremendous support from the council, especially from Councillors Ann O’Byrne and Malcolm Kennedy, but the more people that can see the difference we are making to people’s lives, the better.
“Our approach is unique in this country, combining elements of self-build, volunteering and corporate philanthropy. The backing of Sanctuary and the unpaid support we get from organisations like ISG, the army and companies like Wienerberger, who supply our roof tiles and block pavers, is invaluable; and because the home partners work together before moving in there is a real sense of community here.”
Before leaving, Mayor Anderson was also invited to join HPBC and Sanctuary in planting one of more than 30 trees donated by the Mersey Forest organisation to help make this part of Toxteth a greener place.