The £1 Houses explores the all-too-familiar social issue of affordable housing – or lack thereof – by following a group of first-time buyers as they take advantage of a local council’s scheme of selling off derelict houses for just £1 each.
It is a once it a lifetime opportunity but the small price tag comes with some big risks. They must invest thousands of pounds of their own money renovating the properties within 12 months, or the Council can take it back with no compensation. Major redesign missions are undertaken as the plucky new homeowners attempt to create their dream homes in a rundown area of Liverpool.
The hit RTS award-winning series returned in June 2019 in a new half hour, docu-soap format. Expanding on the lives of the homeowners we met in the first series and new £1 homeowners for whom the hard work is just beginning, the series follows the highs and lows of everyday life, the impact on the wider community and more drastic renovations. But with life savings gambled on achieving first steps on the property ladder and the area still a target for crime, drugs and anti-social behaviour, will this scheme to transform these neglected streets ever succeed?
The opening episode was Channel 4’s most watched programme that week, premiering to an impressive consolidated audience of 2.6 million viewers and outperforming Channel 4’s slot average by 22%.
“The show (not the scheme) works because it has all those makeover game show elements – tantrums and tears, setbacks and pressures – that make good television. But it’s real, and so you actually care.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian