Liverpool moves to regain control of housing delivery

Liverpool moves to regain control of housing delivery

The city council is creating a strategic board to lead on the delivery of council housing and other stock, significantly scaling back the role of arms length management organisation Liverpool Foundation Homes.

The Strategic Housing Delivery Team would be headed up by Liverpool Foundation Homes’ chief executive Mark Kitts and development director Louise Davies, who, together with representatives from Liverpool City Council, will be responsible for the delivery of council-owned housing and the sourcing of other viable portfolio sites.  

It will work to accelerate delivery of new-build homes across a mix of tenures, including social and affordable rent, rent-to-buy and shared ownership. The board will also oversee the council’s plans to retrofit 4,000 homes in its drive to make Liverpool carbon neutral by 2030. 

Liverpool Foundation Homes was set up in order to deliver housing on behalf of the council at a time when in-house delivery would have seen the authority penalised and laden with debt.

However, since then, Government policy has changed and the cap on the national Housing Revenue Account – intended to record expenditure and income on council housing stock – has been lifted, freeing up local authorities to borrow money to bring forward housing without incurring penalties.

As a result of the change in policy, Liverpool City Council is setting up an in-house delivery team that it claims would make it quicker and easier to reach its target of building 30,000 new homes by 2030 than if it continued to use LFH.

The return to in-house delivery would see the construction of the first new-build council houses in the city for more than 30 years, since Liverpool sold off its last remaining housing stock to housing associations in the early 2000s.

Under the proposals, which are awaiting council sign-off, Frank Hont will remain as chairman of LFH once the housing board is established. LFH would become a “stock holding company” and continue to operate and manage existing council housing, according to Liverpool City Council.

Residents living in properties operated by LFH, which oversaw the delivery of affordable homes on Park Street in Dingle among other schemes, would be unaffected by the change in delivery structure, the council added. 

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The city has a diverse population with differing housing needs so it is important that we do what we can to help people in every situation to get the home they deserve. We need to rebalance the city’s housing market. 

Hont added: “It is completely understandable why the council, like many across the country, has taken the decision to change the operational focus of housing delivery, as a bi-product of changing Government policy.” 

Foundations acquires factory-built homes development in Liverpool

Foundations acquires factory-built homes development in Liverpool

City council housing company is buying the four-home project in Birchfield Street close to the city centre from manufacturer SPACE|MODULAR. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool City Council’s housing company Foundations has acquired a modular homes development just outside the city centre.

Modular homes are constructed in a factory and then installed on-site in just a day. The properties exceed modern building regulations and are energy-efficient and are light years ahead of the old ‘pre-fabs’ seen across Liverpool following World War II.

The four properties at the Birchfield Street scheme have been made by SPACE|MODULAR. Work began on the site at the end of August with the foundations completed in September, allowing the homes to be delivered to the site.

Before they are delivered the homes are built into a unified structure which integrates he core, shear walls, bathrooms and façade of a building. The process enables delivery of the properties up to 50% quicker than traditional building methods.

The final elements of the construction works such as roofing, cladding and landscaping will be completed over the coming weeks with handover to Foundations planned for early November.

Factory-built homes are becoming an increasingly popular way of addressing the UK’s chronic shortage of affordable homes as well as meeting the country’s carbon emission targets. A separate development at Wirral Waters is allowing people to choose their own specifications.

Ian Ambrose, director of SPACE|MODULAR, said: “By manufacturing in a quality-controlled environment, we are able to dramatically reduce waste and minimise water and energy usage by streamlining the whole process.

“Similar to any pre-fabricated manufacturing facility, we can accurately order materials needed for each specific job minimising waste and maximising quality.”

Due to precision engineering, modular construction reduces waste by 80% of which, 95% is recycled. Off-site manufacturing also means 60% less deliveries to site, 80% fewer vehicle movements on site along 70% less personnel on site.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson added: ““We need to be bold, radical and ambitious if we are to meet our target of becoming a net zero carbon city by 2030. There are huge opportunities for us to improve the lives of residents right across the city, whatever their age or background, with better and more energy efficient housing.”

Families move into Foundations’ first rent-to-buy homes

Family outside properties on Park Street, Dingle

Families move into Foundations' first rent-to-buy homes

25th July 2019

Families have moved into the first new build homes built by Liverpool City Council’s ethical housing company Foundations.

Residents are settling into their new homes on Park Street, Dingle, where Foundations has launched its flagship rent-to-buy scheme designed to help people get on the housing ladder.

The 14 three-bedroom homes are the first tranche of new build houses to be included in the company’s rent-to-buy programme.

Among the new neighbours is Julian Gill, 33, and his partner Courtney Greenway, 24. Julian, who is originally from Toxteth, is a videographer and creative designer.

He said: “It feels fantastic to be in our new home. Having a fresh, new house in a fantastic location has had a really positive impact on our lives. It’s hard to quantify, but it’s a very exciting prospect to know that we’ll one day own this home. It really is the perfect place for a new home and for first time buying, as we have everything we need on our doorstep.

“Before this opportunity came up, I was renting from a private landlord. All of my renting experiences have been negative due to poor maintenance, dreadful communication and lack of transparency. Without Foundations, it wouldn’t have been possible for us to get on the housing ladder so soon. Having the freedom to save and get my accounts in shape before buying is a real blessing.”

Under the scheme, people will be able to rent the homes at 80 per cent of the market rent, so they can save the other 20 per cent towards a deposit in order to find a mortgage to buy the property.

They will be given an option to buy their home after 12 months and up to five years at a fair market price based upon an independent valuation at the time of purchase.

The scheme was available to people who live or work in Liverpool and are either first time buyers or who have had to previously sell a home because of a relationship breakdown. Other criteria include being in work but unable to buy a home on the open market due to lack of savings for a deposit towards a mortgage.

Foundations has enhanced the homes on Park Street to include a range of items, including alarms, blinds, white goods and electric appliances, flooring and additional planting to create a high standard of home and also reduce the financial burden of tenants moving in.

Foundations chief executive, Mark Kitts, said: “We’re delighted to see families settling into life in their new homes on Park Street. The aim of our rent-to-buy scheme is to give local people the chance to get a foot on the property ladder and have a stake in their local community.

“This scheme marks the start of an incredibly exciting journey for Foundations. Our vision is to create quality, sustainable homes that help to improve neighbourhoods and the quality of the Liverpool’s housing stock.

“Demand for our first scheme was far in excess of the supply we currently have and we’ll be working hard over the coming months and years to ensure more people can benefit from these opportunities to get a foot on the housing ladder and have a home they can proudly call their own.”


For further information:


About Liverpool Foundations Homes

Liverpool Foundation Homes (Foundations) is Liverpool City Council’s ethical housing company. Foundations is the flagship housing policy for Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, who wants to use the company to rebalance the city’s social housing stock, revolutionise the Rent to Buy sector and drive up council tax receipts.

It has been tasked with creating bespoke properties for the homeless, foster carers, large families, the elderly and people with a disability and to improve the availability of good quality, affordable homes in the city.

Consultation reveals strong local support for Kirkdale regeneration project

L-R Mark Kitts, Liverpool Foundation Homes; Paul Smith; Cllr Joe Hanson, ward councillor for Kirkdale

Consultation reveals strong local support for Kirkdale regeneration project

25th July 2019

Kirkdale Canalside logo

Plans to develop a new high quality housing-led regeneration project in Kirkdale have been strongly backed by local residents, according to the results of a public consultation.

The proposed scheme, called Kirkdale Canalside, is being led by a partnership between Liverpool Foundation Homes, Liverpool City Council’s ethical housing company, and Britain’s former super-middleweight boxing champion, Liverpool’s Paul Smith.

Smith, advised by London-based Lacey Capital Partners, has partnered with Liverpool City Council’s ethical housing company, Foundations, to bring forward the plans to transform this part of north Liverpool and bring about much needed improvement to the environment and the opportunity for employment in construction and the scheme once complete.

If approved, the scheme would provide affordable new homes, refurbished homes and neighbourhoods, community facilities, elderly care accommodation, improved and accessible green space, an eco-park and a new boxing academy to be run by Smith and his three brothers, the most successful boxing family in the UK and holders of British, European and world titles.

Some 92 per cent of local people who took part in the public consultation supported the proposals overall, with more than seven out of 10 people saying they ‘strongly’ supported the ideas.

In total 351 questionnaires were completed over the course of the three week consultation, which took place from 8th May to 6th June.

Support for the individual aspects of the proposals was also extremely high, with local respondents backing the plans for new housing, including specialist elderly accommodation, new neighbourhood facilities and  a new high quality park in the area by receiving more than 90% of support from local respondents.

The proposed scheme area includes the inaccessible and unused railway cutting and neighbouring canal side that run along Melrose Road and Commercial Road through the heart of Kirkdale. The scheme will also look to focus on the ‘flower’ streets and Orwell Road areas.

Almost three thousand homes and businesses in the area surrounding the site were leafleted to invite local residents to two community consultation events at the Gordon Institute on Stanley Road on 17th and 18th May.

For those who were unable to attend, a survey was available for completion online.

With a strong local community mandate in place, Kirkdale Canalside remains on track to conduct a second public consultation on the facilities and designs proposed for the project by the end of the year, which will follow a detailed piece of feasibility work to be undertaken by the team over the next few weeks and months.

Paul Smith said: “We’re very happy with the results of the first stage of the consultation, which have reaffirmed to us that our vision for Kirkdale Canalside is in line with what people in Kirkdale want to see in their community.

“Their feedback will be listened to and reflected in our proposals as we continue to develop our ideas for the potential of this project.”

“Kirkdale Canalside is a fantastic opportunity for the Smith brothers to give back to the community where they were raised and we’re very pleased with the support these plans have received from local residents, who see the overwhelming benefits that this project will bring to the area,” said Cllr Joe Hanson (Lab), ward councillor for Kirkdale.

Liverpool City Council is the sole shareholder of Foundations, which has been set up to improve the availability of good quality, affordable homes in the city. The company, set up by the Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, wants to see Foundations improve the city’s housing stock, revolutionise the Rent to Buy sector and drive up council tax receipts for the council.

Foundations chief executive Mark Kitts said: “Housing has the ability to transform lives and communities and we want our plans for Kirkdale Canalside to inject a new lease of life into the area and bring spaces which have historically been neglected and underused back into public use.

“Our aim is to deliver sustainable, high quality new and refurbished homes that will increase the choice of housing stock available to local people at affordable prices. We were very pleased to see over 350 responses and such strong local support for our plans in the first stage of the consultation and we’ll be working hard to bring these ideas to life during the next stage and show local residents how these homes will look.”

As part of Liverpool City Council’s commitment to eliminate the impact of climate change by 2030, regeneration initiatives such as Kirkdale Canalside will have a significant role to play in terms of the approach to design, and methods of construction which will ensure that the built environment responds positively to provide sustainable homes and leisure facilities for the future.

Chris Lacey, the managing director of Lacey Capital Partners said: “The results of the consultation have shown the strong appetite for high quality yet affordable living in Kirkdale. We want to create a healthy and secure place for people to live and work and this is an exciting opportunity to serve a real need in the city.”

To be kept up to date with activity on the project, please visit the campaign website


Issued on behalf of the joint venture.  For further information:

  • Jon Brown at Influential, for Foundations: 07811 451184
  • Dougal Paver at Merrion Strategy for Paul Smith and Lacey Capital Partners: 078176 29 62 62

About Liverpool Foundations Homes

Liverpool Foundation Homes (Foundations) is Liverpool City Council’s ethical housing company. Foundations is the flagship housing policy for Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, who wants to use the company to rebalance the city’s social housing stock, revolutionise the Rent to Buy sector and drive up council tax receipts.

It has been tasked with creating bespoke properties for the homeless, foster carers, large families, the elderly and people with a disability and to improve the availability of good quality, affordable homes in the city.

For more information visit:

About Lacey Capital Partners

Lacey Capital Partners provides investment and development advice in the UK residential sector and was founded in 2017 by Chris Lacey who has advised on more than £5bn of successful projects to date.

About Paul Smith

Paul Smith is a professional boxer from Kirkdale, Liverpool, and the former British super-middleweight champion, a title he won 30th October 2009 and held until 11th December 2012, having successfully defended the title previously.

Smith’s career spans 45 fights, including 38 wins, of which 22 were by KO.  He now works with Sky Sports as an expert commentator and summariser as well as retaining various business interests.  He is the eldest of four boxing brothers who between them have won four British and two world titles.