£1 to buy a home

£1 to buy a home

14 October 2013 MeetMyAgent

A scheme in Liverpool designed to revive disused properties in the city has handed Jayalal Madde, a self-employed taxi driver, the keys to his new £1 home.

He is the first of 20 people to take ownership of the £1 home in Liverpool which under the scheme he is charged with refurbishing.

The project is part of the council plans to bring 1000 empty properties into occupation, and sells disused properties for £1 to buyers on the proviso that they live in the property for 5 years and refurbish the home.

It is an interesting way of re-establishing communities and bringing empty homes into occupation. To qualify for the scheme applicants must live or work in Liverpool and be a first time buyer.

Rebuilding communities

Speaking on the scheme the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: “We’ve had an amazing response to this scheme and have been absolutely inundated with applications, so to already be in a position to allocate the first 10 homes is fantastic.

“Everything we are doing is about building a sustainable future for our neighbourhoods – and we’ve placed that at the heart of the decisions we’ve made when looking at the applications.

“We are only looking for people who have a genuine commitment to bringing these properties back to life and turning them into a home they are proud to live in.

Maximising capacity

In the face of rising demand, more recently boosted by the Help to Buy scheme, a concerted effort needs to be made to get empty homes into occupation. While there are calls to build more homes, which of course are very valid, the need for such a scheme serves as a reminder there are also thousands of properties lying empty that can be occupied.

This is a scheme that should be watched with interest as there is a clear issue of supply and demand in some areas, causing them to become derelict ghost towns with properties lying empty. By giving people the impetus to make a home out of these properties can only be seen as a positive step in reviving communities by actively placing people committed to making homes and living there. It will be interesting to see how this scheme fares in Liverpool and whether other authorities will look at replicating it across the country.