Our See it and Believe it event in Liverpool, in collaboration with Housing People Building Communities and John Moores University, was an exploration of the community led housing sector in the city. Liverpool has a healthy ecosystem of different models including community led self-build, Community Land Trusts and Co-ops.
Taking place on 27 November 2018, attendees had the opportunity to visit and hear about the different models from the people that made it happen.
The day also included a number of workshops and presentations. Sharing their stories were Eldonian Community Based Housing Association, North West Housing Services, Merseyside Cohousing Group, local officials and community organisers.
A particular highlight was the opportunity to tour three community led housing projects in the city: the Kingsley Road/Alt Street development by Housing People Building Community, the Wavertree Triangle “Homes for £1” project and the Turner-Prize winning Granby Four Streets CLT.
The Kingsley Road/Alt Street development
Kingsley Road has 32 affordable homes all of which residents had a hand in building.
The homes were built mostly by volunteers, called "home partners".
Home partners spend at least 500 hours working on site, in return for a £10,000 reduction in the price of the home. This is called 'sweat equity'.
Homes for £1
Liverpool City Council launched the pilot Homes for £1 scheme in 2013.
They had more than 2,500 applications for the homes. The scheme requires families to not sell their homes for five years after buying it.
This is just one programme Liverpool City Council are using to bring a total of 6,000 empty houses back into use.
Granby Four Streets
Granby Four Streets as they are known today was born in 2011.
In 2012 a deal the council made with a developer fell through and the CLT approached them with a proposal to put the community in the driving seat.
The CLT bought 13 of the Cairns Street terraces for £1 each off the council and invested thousands into making them habitable.
About the day
The day started and ended at Liverpool John Moores University who kindly hosted the event. After hearing briefly from community organisers, local officials and developers the attendees began the tour of the different developments.
While the tour was taking place a parallel workshop took place where attendees were able to hear from even more organisations and groups that included Eldonian Community Based Housing Association, North West Housing Services and Merseyside Cohousing Group. The afternoon session consisted of presentations from the various schemes. The presenters included a broad range of people from architects to residents. The day was rounded off with a Q&A and discussion on the future of community led housing in the city.