martes, 14 de agosto de 2012

First new residents move into condemned street Ringo Starr once called home

Christopher Fontaine who is the last person living in Ringo Starr's former home street in Toxteth

YOUNG people are moving into houses in condemned streets in order to avoid spiralling rents.
Liverpool couple Christopher Fontaine and Leah Holt are currently living in the only occupied property in Madryn Street, Toxteth – where former Beatle Ringo Starr spent his early childhood.
And while every other house is empty and many are earmarked for demolition Christopher and Leah have signed up to a “Guardianship” scheme which allows people to live in otherwise empty properties for a peppercorn rent.
The house, several doors up from Starr’s old home at number nine, has been partly refurbished by anti-demolition lobby Save Britain’s Heritage.
The organisation recently won an award for its efforts to save the Victorian property from the wrecking ball.
Christopher, 28, said being the only household in the street was at times unnerving but that the low rents – around £300 a month – meant the couple could save up for a future home. A history and politics graduate of the University of Liverpool he is planning to go into law while girlfriend Leah has just finished training to become a teacher.
Earlier in the summer Christopher played host to government housing minister Grant Shapps who visited the street with Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson to announce some of the houses – including Ringo’s old home – would be saved from demolition.
Christopher said he believed the controversial housing market renewal scheme – which saw swathes of city streets earmarked for destruction – had been a mistake.
He added: “It’s turned into a mess and they don’t know how to get out of it. It’s about trying not to lose face.
“My girlfriend eventually wants to renovate houses. We couldn’t own this but we can do it up, a bit at a time, to see how it works and how hard it is.
“When Grant Shapps came he was saying to me that when it’s all done we would have somewhere really nice to live. But I’ve only just recently found out that it’s not 200 houses they’re saving, but only 16.”


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