Manchester aims to build 2,000 new affordable homes a year

With cities in the UK facing a lack of affordable homes one of the biggest in the country has announced plans to build 2,000 new homes every year.

Manchester City Council says it was to accelerate the delivery of affordable homes and has drawn up a housing affordability framework which aims to ensure a strong supply of decent, secure housing to rent or buy for those below the average household income.

The strategy covers a range of tenures including social housing, affordable rent properties, shared ownership or shared equity, and rent to purchase homes.

The council will work with public and private sector partners to make use of funding streams, such as the government’s National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), and will take advantage of the relaxation of restrictions around grant funding for affordable homes.

Successful bids will form an important part of Manchester’s Housing Affordability Fund, alongside other types of investment using council land, assets and borrowing power, where appropriate.

In the last five years, 2,721 homes were built through the city’s Affordable Homes Programme, but in the same period 1,800 affordable homes were lost through demolition, Right to Buy and Right to Acquire, leaving a net gain of 921 new affordable homes.

However, this is not enough to support the housing needs of Manchester people, but the new framework aims to accelerate this to deliver between 1,000 and 2,000 new affordable homes a year.

At the same time, the council will use a range of resources to replace social housing lost through right to buy and demolitions, maintaining social housing at the current figure of around 70,000.

‘Manchester is leading the way to ensure the city can deliver decent and secure housing that meets the needs of residents that are below the average income for the city,’ said Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council.

‘Decent housing shouldn’t be a luxury. It should be something that everyone in Manchester can enjoy. We intend to make sure up to 2,000 homes a year are built that are decent, secure and affordable,’ he added.