Well I have now watched the second episode re the one pound houses scheme in Liverpool. To continue the story: the few residents who have completed their homes or have nearly done so are very much the minority.
We are told there were 125 houses on offer in the scheme, why is it taking so long to get the residents into the empty streets? Also the birds-eye view of the area shows many streets of derelict boarded up housing with a few residents scattered around.
Why didn’t the council put all the new residents in one block instead of scattering them around? In the initial interview in which they were awarded houses, into which they were to put in their own cash to pay for the work needed. They were told the council would quickly encourage a community of neighbours all renovating together. This has not happened.
Another problem came to light this week, 39 of the houses were not part of the original demolition order and for legal reasons could not be released yet. These “would be” residents were understandably angry at the delay. This was another cause of houses laying empty. However it is not just 39 houses that are still empty, and still no activity happening, why not? They were also concerned by the deterioration of the houses with leaking roves but they could not get on and repair them.
The council did have a representative trying to console the angry people but he really had little authority to do anything, and wasn’t achieving anything. The result is that the families who initially took part in the scheme are becoming despondent and feeling angry and isolated in their efforts to complete their homes. They had no near neighbours to share building problems with or friends for their children to play with.
Worse still, exacerbated by the lack of occupancy, the empty houses were encouraging vandalism. One family had virtually completed their home and were about to move in when vandals broke in wrecked front and back door, destroyed the newly fitted kitchen and stole the white goods. The family were obviously devastated, their hard work ruined and additional cost to repair and replace the damage was beyond their anticipation and their means.
Had there been neighbours the noise is likely to have alerted help and prevented the scale of the disaster.
A very big problem for all these residents, the houses didn’t belong to them until they were inspected as being completed satisfactorily when they would be signed over. The hoses also had to be completed within a year or they would lose their homes and all investment. Until the houses belonged to them they couldn’t insure the contents so if vandals struck the had no compensation.
Surely the council could make some arrangements especially as they were aware that it was such a deprived area. So we will have to wait until next week to see how the problems are resolved and if the scheme was actually made to work.