Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Liverpool residents seek compensation over devalued homes

Abandoned pathfinder tenants take legal action

Residents left abandoned in half-finished housing market renewal schemes are preparing to launch compensation claims against their council.

The 600-member Salisbury Residents’ Association in Liverpool is preparing to serve the city’s council with ‘blight notices’, which can force authorities to buy homes devalued by regeneration work.

Barry Denyer-Green of Falcon Chambers, a leading barrister in the field who is a former chair of the British Compulsory Purchase Association but is not involved in this case, indicated more legal action could follow because there was a case to answer.

‘Owners or tenants of at least three years have to show that they can’t sell or have to sell [their home] at a substantially lower price [than if there was no blight],’ he added. ‘The land has got to be blighted in a legally technical sense, intended for compulsory purchase or some other project.’

Around 30 authorities have been left to manage the half-finished regeneration work of the 10 pathfinder organisations which were set up by Labour in 2002. The £2.3 billion HMR programme had been due to run until 2018 but was axed by the coalition government in last year’s spending review. A £30 million ‘lifeline’ has since been announced for the worst affected areas, including Liverpool.

Ros Groves, chair of the Salisbury Residents’ Association, said almost £50,000 had been wiped from the value of her four-bedroom house.

‘We have kids in schools. Ask them to draw a house and they will draw you a house with boarded up windows,’ she told a hearing of the communities and local government committee on Monday. ‘For me, that is criminal.’

Residents turned to legal action after the council decided to exclude the 600 homes in Liverpool’s Anfield area from its bid for a share of the government’s £30 million rescue fund. ‘I don’t blame the city council,’ Ms Groves added. ‘It didn’t pull the funding, but at the end of the day people are going to be absolutely devastated.’

Chris Brown, chief executive at Manchester-based developer Igloo, told the committee that regeneration projects across the country were being mothballed because public funding had dried up.

Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for housing at Liverpool Council, said it was exploring other sources of funding to help address residents’ concerns. ‘We do not consider that blight claims will be successful,’ she added.

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • Does anyone have any data on the success rates of Blight claims? It is something that I have heard of many times but do not know how realistic a claim it is?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

More Newsletters

Related

Articles

  • Council invests £6m to transform empty homes

    11 April 2014

    A local authority is investing £6 million to bring 1,000 empty properties back into use.

  • Long-term housing mission for Liverpool

    06/06/2014

    After the controversies of market renewal, Liverpool is planning for a brighter future. Martin Hilditch investigates the city’s new long-term housing masterplan

  • Spotlight on PRS licensing scheme

    24 April 2014

    Councils across the UK are considering licensing schemes to tackle rogue private landlords. Pete Apps visits Newham in east London to find out if its 15 month-old scheme is making a difference to tenants’ lives

  • Reality bites

    17/01/2014

    The chancellor’s recent threat to withdraw the automatic right to housing benefit from the under-25s is politics, not economics, argues Ann O’Byrne

  • JRF: Impact of welfare reform on tenants and landlords revealed

    9 April 2014

    Around half of the 498,000 people paying the bedroom tax across the UK are in arrears, a report published today by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has said.

Resources

  • Connect found

    31/01/2014

    A mobile phone health and well-being ‘app’ is transforming the lives of Bristol residents. Alex Turner reports

  • Freedom to roam

    21/03/2014

    Brighton Housing Trust is no housing giant - but it’s a massive technological help to its clients. Jess McCabe reports

  • Express yourself

    06/12/2013

    A research study in Merseyside aims to prove that artistic therapy can help people with Alzheimer’s and their families cope better with the disease. Ciara Leeming investigates

  • Downsizing with the bedroom tax

    17 July 2014

    The price for underoccupying a home is high for many vulnerable people. Jess McCabe visits Stoke-on-Trent to find out how landlords are attempting to help

  • Fighting back

    01//11/2013

    As the private rented sector continues to grow, so does the number of problematic landlords. Michael Pooler finds out how tenants are taking matters into their own hands to fight for better conditions

IH Subscription

- IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT -

 

You will soon need to sign into www.insidehousing.co.uk using your email address rather than your username.

If you are unsure which email address is linked to your account, please Click Here. Your password will remain the same.

If you have a print subscription we need to ensure that we have the correct details in order to link your subscription to your online account, for more information Click Here.

Click here to close window