A LIVERPOOL housing scheme nearing completion has won yet another national award for its unique approach.
The 32-property Kingsley Road scheme in the Granby-Toxteth district, was named Best Collective or Group Self Build Project at the 2016 Build It awards.
It’s the latest in a long line of accolades for the Housing People, Building Communities charity, whose homes combine an element of self build – known as ‘sweat equity’ – with volunteering and corporate philanthropy, to keep costs low.
The final home partners have recently moved into their houses on Alt Street, Toxteth, after spending 500 hours working on site to help build them in return for a £10,000 deposit.
The Build It award is a fitting climax and extra reason to celebrate – and the housing charity is now actively seeking new opportunities to continue its work.
In announcing HPBC as winners of their category, organisers of the Build It awards said: 'The winning scheme was lauded by the judges for several reasons, but in particular they were impressed that these affordable self-build homes were realised through a combination of sweat equity and shared ownership, giving first-time buyers a foot on the housing ladder, as well as creating an overwhelming level of community and neighbourly spirit.'
The Kingsley Road scheme was originally nominated by Duncan Hayes, editor of Custom Build Strategy, a website offering industry insight for the custom build sector.
Duncan said: 'HPBC has truly earned this award. It has created 32 custom-build homes that are truly affordable, a hugely difficult concept to quantify and create in modern house building. The purchasers have been involved with layout and finish choices in their homes, and have taken part in the building their homes, using ‘sweat equity’ to help bring down costs on the project. Working together has given residents a sense of community and ownership, allowed them to build up new skills and confidence that improves their employability and given them homes, via shared ownership, that they would otherwise be unable to afford.
'Custom builds like this offer huge scope for social equity, and happier housing developments. It would be great to see this grass roots model replicated by other planners and charities across the nation.'
HPBC trustee Brian Emmott attended the award ceremony in London, which was hosted by actor and comedian Tim Vine.
Brian, who’s also founder and director of the The Terre Initiative and its International Real Estate Advisory Network, said afterwards: 'As a relatively new trustee, it was a pleasure to attend the Build It ceremony and accept this recognition on HPBC’s behalf. Kingsley Road really is an exemplar of what can be achieved with community led and self build housing and, having successfully completed the 32 homes in Toxteth, we are actively seeking new opportunities in Liverpool and beyond to create further affordable homes in a similar way.'
Previous awards for HPBC include:
2015 Inside Housing Top 60 Developments - Affordable Housing Development of the Year finalist
2015 Builder & Engineer Awards – Highly Commended for Affordable Housing Project of the Year
2014 National Housing Awards – Most Innovative or Specialist Scheme
2014 UK Housing Awards – Best community led initiative
2014 First Time Buyer Readers’ Awards – Best housing alliance
2013 Housebuilder Awards – Best community initiative
2013 Liverpool Your Move Property Awards - Judges’ favourite project