The Liverpool City Region (LCR) Devolution Agreement was signed November 2015 securing £900m of funding over the next 30 years.
The Liverpool City Region (LCR) Devolution Agreement funding will be used in a number of priority areas where resources and decision making would be devolved to the region:
- employment and skills
- housing and planning
- business growth and support
- culture and finance.
In March 2016, further powers and responsibilities were announced giving LCR additional powers over transport, piloting 100% business rates retention and working in partnership with the Government on children’s services, health, housing and justice.
A condition of the Devolution Agreement was to have a directly elected mayor. Steve Rotheram was elected as the first Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor in May 2017
Housing and Planning
The Devolution Agreement states that the Metro Mayor will exercise strategic planning powers to help accelerate economic growth and new housing development throughout the LCR. This includes:
- development of a Single Statutory City Region Framework supporting the delivery of strategic housing sites throughout the City Region
- the power to be consulted on and/or call-in planning applications of strategic importance to the City Region
- the creation of a brownfield register to support the identification of key economic sites for housing and employment
- the creation of a Mayoral Development Corporation to support the delivery of key sites through Mayoral Development Zones in the Liverpool City Region. This will include the ability to undertake compulsory purchase orders to aid scheme delivery (with the consent of the local authority in which it is due to be exercised)
- the Government and the City Region will develop a Land Commission to support the better coordination and release of public asset disposals. The joint approach will aim to increase the availability of sites for economic growth, housing, and improved communities
- LCR and the Government will continue to discuss the devolution of housing loan funds and the city regions future housing ambitions
Liverpool City Region housing associations
Housing associations own or manage over 150,000 homes in the Liverpool City Region which makes up 22% of all households. LCR housing associations also support approximately 7,324 full-time jobs within the city region and add £372,523,385 gross value into the LCR economy.
The Liverpool City Region Chief Executives Group consists of a number of representatives of housing providers across the region and meet to discuss key strategic priorities for housing. The group is currently chaired by Barbara Spicer, Chief Executive of Plus Dane who is also a mayoral adviser for Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram in relation to housing. The group welcomed Steve Rotheram to a group meeting in September 2017 in which he shared his vision for housing.
In February 2018, Steve Rotheram followed up on his manifesto promise to host a housing summit at which he and Homes England, represented by Nick Walkley addressed an audience of key stakeholders. This marked the beginning of the process to co-create and deliver a future-proofed housing strategy for the Liverpool City Region.
Nick Walkley emphasised the importance of housing associations working together, as they had recently done when submitting a single response to the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Market Assessment (SHELMA) consultation process. He stressed the need for an ambitious plan for the LCR region and one which would drive economic growth and make positive contributions to the skills shortage in the region.
Work is now underway to create capacity within the combined authority to drive forward this agenda enabling it to continue working alongside the LCR housing providers in prioritising sites to develop as part of its vision of creating viable and vibrant communities.
LCR housing associations are involved in the formal governance structures of the combined authority. Plus Dane and Torus currently represent the rest of the LCR housing associations on the Housing and Spatial Planning Board, which both advises and reports into the Metro Mayor.
This infographic provides further overview of the contribution of housing providers in Liverpool City Region.
In July 2017 Crisis published a study exploring the feasibility of implementing Housing First at scale within the Liverpool City Region. It was commissioned by Crisis, with funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government (now MHCLG) and the Housing First Europe Hub. The study explored the scale of the homelessness crisis in the region and demonstrated the need for an overhaul of the current provision – outlining the case for a holistic approach to a wider housing led system reform for the prevention of homelessness.
In the 2017 Autumn Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a £28m investment in three Housing First programmes across the UK, including Liverpool City Region.
In his ‘100 day plan’ Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram included the need to consider the recommendations from the Housing First report and take forward actions to tackle homelessness within the City Region. It has been agreed that the Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer money and the Housing First allocation will sit within the combined authority, allowing a much needed co-ordinated approach to tackling homelessness.
A review of the Property Pool allocations process is underway which is considered to be critical in the success of this initiative.
Kate Farrell who has been leading on this work is also the Mayoral Advisor on homelessness.
To discuss devolution in the Liverpool City Region, please email Ciarán Tully, External Affairs Manager for the North West region.
This page was last updated April 2018.