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Manchester lays out plans to meet 6,400 affordable homes target

Manchester City Council has laid out how it plans to meet its new target of building 6,400 affordable homes in Manchester by 2025.

The Economy Scrutiny Committee will hear the proposals in a report today (September 5) after the council raised its target of building 20,000 homes in the city between 2015 to 2025 to 32,000 homes.

At least 6,400 of these homes will be affordable homes, split between social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership, as the council aims to meet its ambition of 20% of all new homes in the city being affordable.

Cllr Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: ‘Manchester has undoubtedly been in recovery for some time following the financial crash in 2008, but we hope to see a high water mark of new affordable homes over the next two years.

‘We want Manchester to be a place where our residents can live in the type of neighbourhood that they want, with sustainable, low-carbon homes and long-lasting communities. Housing is the bedrock of this and we need to commit to delivering the homes that meet the needs of Manchester people.’

According to the council’s figures, 1,044 affordable homes were built in Manchester between 2015 and 2019, with a further 1,061 on track to be completed by 2021.

The council hopes an additional 969 affordable homes will have land and funding secured by the same date, as it believes that 50% of its new 6,400 homes target could be met by using its current land assets.

Working with local housing providers and Homes England will also be crucial to meeting its target, the council added, as it said it was considering buying back former council properties sold due to Right to Buy.

The council added that it will judge all planning applications it receives against its 20% affordable homes target, requiring developers to include a public viability assessment where applications do not commit to the target.

It also hopes to support three trial plots for community-led housing in Manchester by linking into the government’s new three-year pilot for neighbourhood affordable housing.

Cllr Richards added: ‘These affordable housing targets are ambitious – as they need to be – and we will work closely with our housing partners across the city, and Homes England, to ensure we can make them a reality.’

Manchester City Council was previously criticised for failing to build affordable housing, as the Guardian reported that in 2016 and 2017, the council’s planning committee failed to approve a single home that classed as truly affordable – defined as being 80% of the market rent.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

Chris Ogden
Digital News Reporter

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