A HOUSING charity recently targeted by thieves has been given just the boost it needs – the 32 homes nearing completion in Toxteth, Liverpool, have been named as one of the Top 60 developments in the country by Inside Housing.
Within the main list, the Kingsley Road project by Housing People, Building Communities (HPBC) - in association with Sanctuary Group and supported by the Homes & Communities Agency - is designated one of the six best affordable housing schemes and will now compete for the top title in this category on October 16.
Liza Parry, chief executive of HPBC said: “This is fabulous news and just the lift our home partners, staff and supporters needed after we recently lost over £5,000 of building materials and equipment to heartless thieves. Our homes are built largely by volunteers, including the people who will eventually live in them, and we rely heavily on donations of time, money and gifts in kind to keep costs down.”
John Hocking, executive director, Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, and one of the award judges said that the Liverpool project “demonstrates direct involvement and provides clear returns to the community; an essential ingredient of successful regeneration.”
The Top 60 Developments celebrate success and innovation in delivering new homes. The list highlights achievement in 10 key areas, from design to sustainability. In each area, the best development will be chosen and awarded a winner’s trophy.
Emma Maier, editor of Inside Housing, said: “Across the UK there is a crisis in the supply of quality, affordable homes. We launched the Top 60 Developments this year to reward those who are excelling in providing much-needed homes. We were inundated with entries from the leading organisations who have been behind the most innovative and impressive projects in the UK. It is a brilliant achievement for Housing People, Building Communities to make it into the Top 60 in the face of such fierce competition.”
The Liverpool housing charity lost 23 doors, 14 radiators, four cookers, four hobs, two sinks, tools and various electrical items during a break-in last month.
“Fortunately the local community and our supporters have all rallied round,” Liza explained. “Sanctuary Group has offered to replace most of the stolen goods that weren't claimable through our insurance due to the excess; we’ve had a donation of £2,200 from building materials supplier Wienerberger, who already provide thousands of pounds worth of roof tiles, bricks and block pavers for our project; and our volunteers were invited to collect cash at a recent Coffee & Cars event held at the Chung Ku Chinese restaurant in Liverpool.
“We’ve also had countless messages of support and offers of further help, including off-site storage, additional security cameras for the site and Travis Perkins and City Plumbing Supplies have both donated replacement items.”
The HPBC scheme has pioneered ‘sweat equity’ in the UK, a process whereby home partners spend 500 hours helping to build their home in return for a £10,000 discount on the purchase price. Only a handful of the remaining homes have yet to be allocated and potential home partners are urged to get in touch as soon as possible.