Listen to this blog post on BBC Radio Merseyside here.
Home, the place where you can grow up happily, knowing it’s always going to be your home. Welcome home this little one from us at Coming Home Liverpool.No apologies at all for not having written much on here lately, Jayne Lawless and I have been busy. As the two partners in Coming Home Liverpool we’ve been busy creating our first home for a family in North Liverpool. And now it’s done and they’re all moved in. On a fair rent and a permanent tenancy.Yesterday there was a celebration at the house. A celebration you can listen to from the links at the top and the foot of this post. Continue reading →
“Jayne Lawless and Coming Home Liverpool co-founder Ronnie Hughes are in a jovial mood, surrounded by the green and grey walls of their adopted property – the first, they hope, of many empty houses they are going to convert into affordable homes.
There are around 600,000 empty properties in the country, and 9,000 in Liverpool. Often the owners cannot afford to bring them back into use. Yet Liverpool, like the rest of the country, faces an acute shortage of homes.
This house, on City Road in Walton, is owned by Clare Kinsella, who had inherited it from her late father. She could not afford to do it up, especially because she had been ripped off for £20,000 by previous builders. So she faced either going into further debt to refurbish it or selling it for less than market value.
But when she met Hughes at a social housing conference – he first worked in housing 40 years ago and was recently involved in the Granby 4 Streets redevelopment for which the architects won the Turner Prize – Coming Home Liverpool had found its first homeowner.”
There’s something about being in an actual printed newspaper that confirms an ideas existence more than anything digital can. And this week Coming Home’s existence has been confirmed by the Liverpool Echo.
The Coming Home team on site. Me, Jayne Lawless and Steve Ross of Penny Lane Builders.
Knowing though that many of this blog’s readers don’t live around Liverpool or even in England I thought I’d reproduce Echo journalist Josh Parry’s article about us on here. So here it is.
How one affordable housing scheme is transforming Liverpool’s empty properties.
‘Coming Home’ team tackling both housing shortage and empty homes problem.Continue reading →
A selection from the several thousand photographs I’ve taken this year for this blog. Taken all together they tell one story of the year. Not a definitive one, more of a meander as you might expect.
In a year that’s been turbulent in so many ways it’s been good to have this blog to come home to. A quiet place to reflect and to tell some stories. Stories of ordinary days and determined people, trying to make our part of the world a better and fairer place.
I often think about Diana Ross. And today this, perhaps, surprising fact emerged during a conversation with my friend Jayne.
We were sat in the window of ‘Lox and Caper’ on Hanover Street talking mostly Coming Home as you might expect. When Jayne noticed the torrential sheets of rain falling on the street outside and said:
“If it’s not going to be sunny then I don’t mind dramatic weather like this. What I find really depressing are those grey, blank, no weather days – no wind, no rain…”
At which point I bring Diana Ross into our conversation as Jayne has of course begun to quote from the lyrics of one of my favourite songs, the magnificent ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’ Continue reading →