- Linda and George Hunter became mortgage free around 15 years ago
- But eight years ago, their street became part of a regeneration scheme
- Liverpool city council bought houses and boarded them up for demolition
- Estate agents say couple will now struggle to sell home for more than £1
A couple who spent a lifetime paying off their mortgage have said it was a waste of time after a council scheme to sell neighbouring homes for just £1 has turned the street into a 'ghetto'.
Linda and George Hunter, who raised their four children in their home in Garrick Street, Wavertree, Liverpool, became mortgage free around 15 years ago.
But eight years ago, the street became part of a regeneration scheme and the council bought properties and boarded them up ready for demolition.
Estate agents say the couple would now struggle to sell their home for much more than £1 as other houses in the street are being sold off at that price by the council.
Linda Hunter (pictured) who lives on Garrick Street, Wavertree, Liverpool, says she is stuck in a 'ghetto' after Liverpool city council offered to sell homes in her street for £1
Despite their neighbours moving out, the couple stayed put as they had elderly parents living close by who relied on them.
They thought that what the council was offering for their home at the time - around £85,000 - was too low and believed it was worth closer to £120,000.
Mrs Hunter, 62, a retired careworker, told the Liverpool Echo: 'As the street has become a horrible place to live and my parents died last year we thought "enough is enough" and decided to take the council's offer and move to a home that was similar in price to ours.'
She picked out houses worth around £120,000 and the council said they would look into it for her in October, but months later the couple were told the offer had fallen through as their street was now part of Liverpool's 'Home for a Pound' scheme.
Now the Hunters feel trapped as property prices have dramatically fallen in the area.
An estate agent from Abode in nearby Allerton said: 'I would estimate a three-bedroomed house like one in Garrick Street would be worth around £60,000 at the moment but they would struggle to get even close to that.
'It would be very hard for them to sell their home when other properties in the road are being sold for £1.'
Linda Hunter, 62, feels trapped in the area as property prices in neighbouring houses have dramatically fallen
As the couple are unlikely to sell their home, they want the council to put its original offer back on the table.
Mrs Hunter told the paper: 'We've spent our lives paying off a property that is now worth virtually nothing.
'Who's going to buy our house for thousands when they can get the house next door for £1?'
We watched our friendly road turn into a ghost turn. There's junk everywhere and we're plagued with rats and fly tipping
She added: 'The council created this ghetto that we are now trapped in and they feel they owe us nothing at all.
'We watched our lively and friendly road turn into a ghost town.
'There's junk everywhere and we're plagued with rats and fly tipping. We also have security cameras at the back and front of our house because of anti-social behaviour.
'I'm so frustrated as there's nothing we can do about it and the lack of communication from the authorities makes it feel like we keep hitting a brick wall.
'Even if things do regenerate, it could take years, which means we are still stuck for a long time.'
Liverpool city council said the fact some vacant properties in the area are being offered for £1 so that they can be renovated does not mean that other houses which are occupied are only worth £1.
A spokesman said: 'Homes for a Pound will see properties in this area which have long lain empty, derelict and rundown completely transformed, helping make this part of the city a thriving and sustainable community again.
'This is really good news for existing property owners as it will mean the area is a far more desirable place to live.
'The houses that are part of the Homes for a Pound scheme require significant work and financial investment so can't be compared with other properties. We are in discussions with existing local residents to explain our exciting plans for this area.'