Liverpool City Council first launched ‘Homes For A Pound’ in 2013
The local authority aimed to sell off 20 dilapidated, terraced housing stock
In 2012 Toxteth was rated the most deprived area in Britain
The run-down houses were snapped up for £1 each in a matter of minutes

With many first-time buyers finding it difficult to get a leg up on to the property ladder, house-hunters are increasingly looking for a bargain. Then when one city council offered to sell some dilapidated old terraced homes for just £1 they obviously were not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

Thousands immediately bombarded Liverpool City Council proffering their pound coins asking to be considered for the property sale of the century.

Liverpool City Council first launched ‘Homes For A Pound’ to sell off 20 dilapidated, terraced housing stock and regenerate the notorious Toxteth estate which was rated the most deprived area in Britain and will forever be synonymous with three infamous riots in 1981, 1985 and 2011.

The 20 run-down houses there were snapped up for just £1 each within minutes so the council this summer decided to launch a new scheme called ‘Homes For A Pound Plus’.

To be eligible for the £1 homes, applicants must have lived or worked in Liverpool, be employed and be first-time buyers and they cannot sell them for at least five years.

Yesterday they revealed that already 2,750 people have applied for this second wave of 150 two and three-bed terraces also going under the hammer for a bargain price of £1.

The new ‘Homes For A Pound Plus’ stock of boarded-up terraces are this time located in the deprived Picton area of the city, near Edge Hill.
Tony Mousdale, empty homes manager at the council, said: ‘All the plumbing and the electrics and fixtures and fittings have been ripped out so it is pretty much a shell. It’s a blank canvas and people can put their own stamp on it.’

In total, nine deserted roads of terraces in Picton are to be released for sale so the new owners can refurbish them and regenerate what has been a ghost estate.

A total of 250 applicants who were not successful in the first scheme in 2013 were contacted by the local authority before the second scheme was reopened to the general public.   The applicants will be contacted by the end of the month to let them know about the next stage in the process.

Mr Mousdale said some homes are ‘worse than others’ with old wallpaper and broken tiles around the fireplaces and some had no kitchens or bathrooms. Some of the properties have been empty for at least 10 to 15 years.

Those with children and a good credit history will also be given priority and must demonstrate they have the fund to carry out major refurbishment of work.

Mr Mousdale acknowledged it was ‘very much’ a challenge for owners, adding: ‘The appeal is they can put their own stamp on it.’

Cllr Frank Hont explained: ‘They are going into derelict properties and one woman we were talking to last week had done it up beautifully but it takes time before these areas become desirable places to live again.’

He said the scheme was an important part of the council’s efforts to bring empty homes back into use, including working with social landlords to regenerate the areas affected by unused homes.

He added: ‘We have a strategy for dealing with empty properties, and this is one part of it. It’s a way of getting interest in bringing these houses back into use.   There are a multitude of reasons why houses are empty and the Homes for a Pound scheme is one way of dealing with these. It’s part of everyone working together to regenerate the area.’