Work has been completed on the first property to be refurbished as part of Liverpool’s pioneering “Homes for a Pound” scheme.
Jayalal Madde, 49, was the very first applicant to be given a home under the city council’s pilot scheme to sell 20 of its properties for just a £1 last year, selling off properties in the Granby Four Streets area, Arnside Road in Kensington, and Webster Triangle East in Picton.
Jayalal Madde will be giving Mayor Joe Anderson a guided tour of his house on Cairns Street in Granby on Wednesday 10 December, ahead of moving into the home just in time for Christmas.
Mr Madde is a self-employed taxi driver who has lived for a number of years in Toxteth with his wife and two daughters. Having to put the finances in place for the refurbishment works, including raising some of the money through his local Credit Union, Mr Madde has been working for nearly a year trying to get the home to a decent standard.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:
“I am really pleased to be having a look around Mr Madde’s new home and seeing the work he has carried out to bring it up to standard.
“I know from my conversations with him that he has a genuine commitment to the area, and it is great to know that a once run down property has been lovingly transformed into a home for his family, and will also help contribute to making the local area more attractive and sustainable.
“This is a really creative scheme, but is just part of the overall picture. Across the city, we’ve already brought more than 1,300 properties back into use over the last two years, and through our housing development partners we are committed to making sure another 1,000 are renovated.”
Work is currently underway on six other “Homes for a Pound” properties that were handed over in 2014, while the remaining properties in the pilot shall be given to their new owners at the start of 2015 taking the total to 20. More that 1,000 people have applied to be part of the scheme.
The “Homes for a Pound” initiative forms part of the the councils wider plans to bring back 179 homes into use in the Granby, Picton, and Arnside road areas of Liverpool, working with Registered Housing Providers, Community Organisations, and other partners.
Liverpool City Council’s Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said:
“We know how important home ownership is to local people, and that’s why we’re doing everything we can to bring our empty homes back into use.
“It is just one of a range of measures that we are using to bring properties back into use, such as working with housing associations and developers. We are not pretending it is the answer to the issues with empty housing stock in Liverpool, but it is one of the tools now at our disposal.
“This scheme is very exciting but has not been without its challenges, particularly around securing house insurance for the owners and getting the utilities reconnected, but by working closely with Mr Madde and the other owners we are really making good progress now.”
Words: Daniel Smith