Merseyside housing associations step up to combined authority role

LIVERPOOL’S Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has furthered his commitment to working with social housing providers in the region by giving housing associations a formal role in the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s governance arrangements.

Chief executives of 19 housing associations across the city region met with the Metro Mayor to each sign up to a memorandum of understanding formalising their involvement and agreeing to work collectively with him. As part of this the associations will have two places on the combined authority’s Housing and Spatial Planning Board, chaired by Liverpool City Council’s Deputy Mayor Ann O’Byrne, and made up of the housing portfolio holders from each of the six districts; Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral and Halton.

Two housing association chief executives will join the Board – Barbara Spicer, who is chief executive of Plus Dane Housing, chair of the housing association group for Liverpool City Region and an appointed mayoral advisor to Steve Rotheram; along with one other yet to be appointed.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “I am committed to bringing as much of the City Region’s experience and expertise to the table as possible. In terms of housing I started this by appointing Barbara Spicer as my mayoral advisor for housing, so the obvious next step was to find a way to bring all of the associations together to contribute to and support the work of the Housing and Planning Board.”

Brian Simpson, chief executive of Wirral-based Magenta Living, one of the housing associations that signed the memorandum, said:  “It will be a huge benefit for housing associations to have a place at the table of the LCR Combined Authority, both in the opportunity for us all to work alongside each other and in finding new ways to make real, positive change across the housing sector. We are now in the position to be a critical friend to the authority, and use our combined capacity and knowledge of the issues affecting our tenants today to help to improve the provision of housing for everyone across the region.”