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Further up in the air

Liverpool Housing Action Trust (LHAT)

LHAT was set up by the Government in February 1993 to improve or redevelop the high-rise blocks across Liverpool within an estimated 12 years. Transfer of 67 tower blocks (5,337 properties) from Liverpool City Council took place on 4 October 1993. Due to wind up in September 2005, Liverpool HAT will have spent around £300 million of Government and private money on housing-led regeneration.

LHAT's statutory aims are:

  • to repair, improve or redevelop our housing stock
  • to secure a sustainable future for the HAT's homes and communities
  • to provide an efficient housing management service
  • to secure jobs and training opportunities for HAT residents

LHAT adopted its own Arts Policy in January 2000 which established a framework for the development of three strands of cultural activity within the organisation: Community Arts , Arts Education and Involvement and Public Art. The Up in the Air and Further projects were placed within the 'Community Development Programme'. The legacy rather than 'outcomes and outputs' was felt to be an important objective as was the opportunity to look at the human implications of the demolition of tower blocks and the transformation of the city of Liverpool. LHAT also hoped to explore new ways of working and influence other housing associations and local policies.

When LHAT took over ownership of Sheil Park in 1993, it inherited a rundown estate with a history of problems. Shortly after LHAT took over ownership a number of younger residents left leaving a group of predominantly elder female residents and the estate became more stable. The Up in the Air and Further Up in the Air projects took place in this more settled context.

© Frances Lord, July 2005