Plus Dane Housing and Liverpool City Council have announced new and exciting plans for a £17.4 million regeneration of Toxteth’s Welsh Streets.
The plans include the extensive remodelling and refurbishment of 127 properties, many of which have lay empty for a number of years, to create 99 affordable homes.
Plus Dane is currently nearing the end of a pilot of 6 homes on Gwydir Street which is due for completion in June, and work will now begin on the much bigger scheme of 93 properties next week following recent approval for the plans from Liverpool City Council with funding from Homes England.
Barbara Spicer, chief executive of Plus Dane Housing said: “Our involvement in the Welsh Streets spans decades. Following lots of disappointments for our tenants and other people living there we have remained committed and determined to supporting the much needed improvement of the area. Residents have been consulted on the latest plans and will continue to have a genuine voice to ensure the homes meet their needs and expectations. We are excited to be able to finally bring forward these plans which will play a significant part in the wider Welsh Streets regeneration and make a positive difference to the area.
“Our plans complement those of PlaceFirst perfectly and will result in a vibrant, sustainable community. It is important for us to ensure there is a mix of affordable options for our tenants and people who may want to live here in the future so we will be offering a combination of affordable rent, rent to buy and shared ownership in the new Welsh Streets.”
Plus Dane tenants currently living in Welsh Streets will move out whilst the work takes place, but can return to a newly refurbished home if they want to remain in the area. Whilst the works will be undertaken on a rolling programme, it is expected that the transformation of the Welsh Streets will complete in 2021.
Plus Dane Housing will contribute over £10 million towards the project, with the HCA and Liverpool City Council contributing £4 million and £1.7 million respectively.
The City Council and Plus Dane are also seeking to include home owners in the area so they can benefit from the initiative.
Councillor Frank Hont, Cabinet Member for Housing at Liverpool City Council, said: “The regeneration of the Welsh Streets is a great example of how the city council is working with numerous housing partners, like Plus Dane, to bring vacant properties back into use. In the past four years alone we’ve managed to convert 1,500 vacant units into homes and aim to breathe new life into 3,000 more over the next four years.
“I’m delighted that Plus Dane is now in a position to begin rolling out this programme. This is a fantastic community and the residents have been very patient and understanding of all the hurdles that have had to have been negotiated to get to this point. The standard of the pilot homes is outstanding and despite the inconvenience of these works, the end result is going to make a huge impact on the families’ quality of life and the wider community.”
Karl Tupling, General Manager at Homes England added: “The pilot work by our partners Plus Dane and Liverpool City Council show how our investment of up to £4 million will make a very real change for local people by providing them with homes that are designed for modern living.”
The Welsh Streets consist of traditional small Victorian terraces, with limited outdoor space and downstairs bathrooms. A significant amount of work is needed to ensure that when complete, the homes are fit for modern living so achieving this will involve; in some instances knocking two properties into one, moving bathrooms upstairs, creating larger kitchen space, improving outdoor space and upgrading all major internal items such as kitchens and bathrooms.
The current terraces will be replaced with a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes that are warm and secure. The all-encompassing programme of improvements includes; addressing structural defects such as subsidence and removing outriggers, new damp proof courses, replacing timber floors with insulated concrete floors, external wall insulation, new roofs, re-wiring, new heating systems, new windows and, new kitchens and bathrooms.