Liverpool City Council Borrowing to Fund New Council Houses

MR ALEX A SMITH made this Freedom of Information request to Liverpool City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was refused by Liverpool City Council.

Dear Liverpool City Council (LCC),

In April of 2018 LCC presented the Highways Investment Programme (HIP). In order to help establish the HIP, LCC agreed to borrow “£185m over 25 years resulting in total capital financing charges of £308.9m over that period”. [Source: LCC, “£200m Highways Investment Programme; Report No: EDR/40/18”, 20 April, 2018, page 4.]

Later, in February of 2020, LCC noted:

“The Council has currently let its first three homes in Picton. … [T]here remains a number of challenges in terms of returning to large scale Council Housing, notably that there are no social rented property grants and the rise of Public Works Loan Board interest rates.” [Source: “Council Housing Policies; Report No: EDR/81/19”, 24 February, 2020, pages 1-2.]

I have some questions, below.

1. In principle — that is, if councillors voted for such action and instructed officers accordingly — could funds borrowed by LCC for its HIP be reallocated and spent instead on building new council houses?

2. If LCC obtained new borrowing of, say, £140m from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) in 2021/22 for the purposes council house building, what type of costs would likely be incurred, or would need to be considered, in the short and medium term as a result of this new borrowing? Very roughly speaking, given current PWLB interest rates, etc., what are the ball-park estimates of the magnitude of these costs? And what sort of provisions and allowances — generally speaking — might need to be made within LCC’s 2021/22 budget and future budgets to accommodate such additional borrowing?

Thank you for your time.

Yours faithfully,


Information Requests, Liverpool City Council

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Dear Alex Smith


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