Welcome to poundland: Thousands clamour for the 20 Victorian terraced properties on sale for 1 EACHMore than 100 people fighting for every Victorian house
Council desperate to prompt regeneration in one of Liverpool's most impoverished areas
22:53 GMT, 1 March 2013
10:02 GMT, 2 March 2013
A house in Kensington, Liverpool may not have the airs and graces of a Georgian mansion in the desirable SW1 district in London.
But when 20 terraced homes were put up for sale at just 1 the council was sure they would generate a little bit on interest.
Instead they have been inundated by a deluge of applicants with more than 100 people fighting for every house.
Homes in Arnside Road, Kensington, Liverpool which are up for sale at 1 each and have prompted a boom in buyers
Despite the fact many have no roofs and others are so derelict they are close to falling down, the clamour to secure a property has been deafening.
Cllr Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for housing, said: ‘We’ve been absolutely swamped with calls, so we have decided to extend the deadline to make sure that everyone who is interested has the opportunity to apply.
‘We must never underestimate the importance of having a home. For most of us, nothing is more important.
'That’s why we’re working so hard on schemes like this to bring our empty properties back into use. We’ve been really pleased with the response to these plans.’
The scheme is the brainchild of council bosses desperate to kickstart regeneration in one the most impoverished areas of the city.
The pioneering 1 sale of the houses was drawn up after a series failed plans to regenerate several destitute areas of the city
As part of the initial pilot scheme, 20 houses are being offered for sale to buyers who can demonstrate they have the skills to renovate the properties.
Damp and decaying, some have lost their roofs and will need major structural work to turn them back into homes once again.
Most of the properties are two bedroom Victorian terraces with a bathroom and back yard which were built at the turn of the last century.
Many of the two bedroom Victorian terraces have been empty for more than a decade and are boarded up with unsightly metal grilles over the doors and chipboard on the windows.
Applicants will have to put forward a plan for the renovation of their house and then sign a legally-binding contract to ensure the work is carried out.
If the new owner then fails to keep their part of the contract they will then forfeit the property and their 1 and the house will be put up for sale again.
Most of the properties are two bedroom Victorian terraces with a bathroom and back yard
Owners would be required to live in the property for five years and they would be not be allowed to sub-let the properties in that time.
But, even with the conditions attached, the demand is such that it is understood city bosses may look at extending the number made available.
The pioneering 1 sale of the houses, which is not open to private landlords, was drawn up after a series failed plans to regenerate several destitute areas of the city.
The latest move came after a contract offer made to developer Leader1 Liverpool to deliver housing regeneration in the three areas was withdrawn last year.
Initially only 20 houses in Granby, Kensington and Picton have been handpicked for the pilot scheme but more could become available.
A range of initiatives in the three areas aims to bring 179 homes back into use over the next three years with house associations refurbishing some of these properties to a high standard and then offering them for sale at 25 per cent less than market value.
House proud Pat Harrison, 64, has lived in her well-kept home on Arnside Road for 12 years, renting from a private landlord.
She is one of just a handful of residents left living on the road and said she was excited about the prospect of having new neighbours.
The retired nursery manager said: ‘As long as the new people coming in are decent I think it’s quite exciting. We all get along here as there’s only a few of us left, so I wouldn’t want people coming in and ruining that.
‘It’s a good move and I would really look forward to getting the boards off the houses and regenerating the street.’