• Liverpool Labour pledges to build 10,000 rent-to-buy homes to tackle inequality and address affordability

    April 14, 2016

    Joe Anderson, Labour’s candidate for Mayor has announced that if Labour wins the Mayoral election in Liverpool he will create a new council-owned housing company, to directly compete with private developers in order to meet housing needs across the city.

    The homes will be rent-to-buy in a special arrangement that will mean tenants will be able to build up a deposit for their home by paying their rent.  After 5, 10 or 15 years, depending on the individual arrangement, you will be able to buy the home using the deposit making it perfect for people who have struggled to save up and get on the property ladder.

    This is one of the most dynamic and ambitious pledges to provide housing in the UK, and possibly Europe:

    • 10,000 homes to be built over 6 years
    • £1bn investment in house building
    • 15,000 construction and associated jobs to be created

    Crucially, the proposal will not compete with registered social landlords who provide social housing, but directly with private sector developers in order to better address need in the housing market.

    It is the first of our announcements in the build up to the launch of Labour’s 2016 manifesto

    Announcing the pledge, Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, explained:

    I will promise to build 10,000 new homes over six years, starting in January 2017, using a transformational rent to buy model.  No deposit will be required, all we ask is that new owners sign up to a deal to rent the property for a minimum of five years, but they can also take 10 or 15 years if they wish.  We will use part of their rent and the increased value of the property over their rental period to use as their deposit. I am also seeking Government involvement to take advantage of their Help to Buy initiative as this could also provide additional help although the scheme is not dependent on it.

    I want to get on with it, using brownfield land in the city.  It’s the biggest and boldest house building programme probably in Europe.  It’s a scheme that meets the demand we know is there and for people coming here and it will dramatically improve the quality of housing and neighbourhoods.

    “Too often local councils have found themselves in the role of bystanders, unable to shape the housing market to address local demand and to tackle inequality. The creation of a local authority housing company will help us gain greater control over build rates and direct the type and timescale of development we need.

    “This move will put us in the driving seat, helping address market failure, drive up private landlord quality, deliver new routes into affordable home ownership, as well as creating a new income stream for the council and jobs

    Mayor Anderson added: “This is exactly the type of bold and yet practical measure that I want to pursue as mayor. It will help us to address issues around the provision and quality of homes in the city, as well as creating jobs, apprenticeships, supporting local businesses and tackling the issue of affordability.

    “We have seen what happens when the property market is left to pure market forces: massive inequalities set in that make it so difficult for millions of families to even contemplate getting on the housing ladder. I am determined to do something about this.”