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Manchester review affordable housing ambitions in face of criticism

A report will be presented to Manchester City Council’s Executive on Wednesday (December 12) which will review the affordability of homes in the city.

The council has been criticised for the number of affordable or social homes they have approved in the city centre in recent years as the city’s homelessness crisis has deepened.

Updating their commitment in 2015, the Council predicts 32,000 new homes will be built in the city from April 2015 to March 2026, including 6,400 affordable homes to meet the city’s 20% affordable homes ambition.

Rent has skyrocketed in Manchester in recent years with The Guardian reporting that in central Manchester monthly rents have increased on average by more than £100 year on year.

The same article noted of the almost 15,000 homes granted planning permission by the council’s planning committee in the last two years not one will be ‘affordable,’ which is defined as being 80% of the market rent.

In October, an Alliance Manchester Business School report argued that Manchester faces a growing housing and transport crisis because of its ‘misguided’ developer-led regeneration approach.

The report heard on Wednesday will present a range of policy ideas that the council believes will help to increase the supply of genuinely affordable homes across a range of tenures and products to meet the different needs of residents.

The paper will advise that 3,000 new council-built homes should be built in the next ten years, split equally between social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership.

It will also explore the feasibility of three community-led housing projects.

The paper also commits to a feasibility study into an affordable housing project in the city centre to further explore housing options for people on lower incomes.

Cllr Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: ‘These new policies signal a bold new approach to deliver genuinely affordable homes that meet the needs of all Manchester people.

‘Manchester is a hugely popular place to live and work but as the city’s success attracts more residents we must also meet the demand for more housing. As housing demand has increased and social housing has been lost through right to buy we have seen many residents on lower incomes unable to access the safe, secure housing that they need.’

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter

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