Families Who Bought £1 Houses Show Off The Amazing Transformations
The ambitious people who snapped up run-down houses from the council for £1 ($1.40) a pop are now showing off their amazing transformations.
Liverpool City Council launched the innovative Homes For A Pound scheme as a means of not only offering people affordable housing, but to also tackle the many empty, dilapidated houses in neglected areas like Anfield and the Webster Triangle.
30-year-old student Victoria Brennan was one of those people, and borrowed £38,000 ($53,000) from her parents to renovate her two-bedroom property in Wavertree.
"There is a stigma in the city that you have to have so much money in the bank to apply for the scheme. I was lucky," she said.
"The overarching positive was the ability to own a property I could never afford on my own."
Sam and Rachael Kamau are others who benefited from the scheme, having rented in Liverpool for 16 years after moving to the city from Kenya.
They bought a house that was in such bad disrepair that it had 'a waterfall coming down the staircase' and a 'bathroom with no floor',but it didn't stop the Kumaus rolling up their sleeves and knuckling down.
"When we heard about the £1 home scheme we thought why not?" Rachael explained.
"We had two growing girls who have always had to share a bedroom and the house was becoming far too cramped.
"When we saw this house, it was a bit of a shock. There was a waterfall coming down the staircase because the roof had no lining, the bathroom had no floor so you could see through to the kitchen, plaster was peeling off the walls."
Mel Hilton Phillips and her husband Rob spent £40,000 ($56,000) doing their £1 house up, and managed to save while living with Mel's parents.
"We liked the idea of being able to restore something and put our stamp on it," mum-of-three Mel said.
"If we hadn't got a house through the scheme, we could probably have bought a three-bedroom house in the Wavertree area for about £100,000 ($140,000), but it still would have been something that needed a lot of work."
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As part of the scheme, the homeowners had to invest a minimum of £40,000 in renovating. It also had to be completed within a year, or the council would claim the property back, and they aren't allowed to sell their house for five years.
The residents will all be showing off the impressive results in a forthcoming Channel 4 doc, The £1 Houses: Britain's Cheapest Street, which is airing on Valentine's Day.
Featured Image Credit: Victor de Jesus/UNP