Manchester sets annual target of 500 affordable homes for council-owned housing company

Manchester Town Hall.

Manchester City Council’s new housing company will be tasked with delivering at least 500 new affordable homes in the city each year, the council has confirmed.

Back in March, the council announced plans to launch a council-owned housing company to increase Manchester’s supply of affordable housing for families on lower incomes.

The council now says the housing development company has the potential to deliver around 2,000 homes by 2025 – 200 up from the initial estimate of 1,800 homes it gave earlier this year.

Manchester City Council hopes the new company will help it meet its target of building at least 6,400 affordable homes between 2015 and 2025 – 20% of its overall target of 32,000 new homes during this period.

Cllr Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “Our affordable housing target is ambitious by design because we know that as our population continues to grow that we will need to match that growth with high-quality new homes that Manchester people can afford.

“It’s vital that we innovate and change the way we think about housing delivery to ensure we can meet demand and the needs of our residents.

“Bringing an element of affordable housing development in-house will help us meet the housing needs of Manchester people using our own land and with a clear focus on sustainable, low-cost, zero-carbon housing.”

While 13,259 homes have been completed in Manchester since 2015, forecasting has raised concerns that Manchester City Council risks falling short of its affordable homes target if it relies solely on its registered providers to build new homes.

It is hoped that the new local housing company will ensure a constant supply of homes at or below Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels which can be built directly on council-owned land.

In addition to delivering at least 500 affordable homes per year, the company will be expected to deliver at least 1,000 homes for market sale and rent, which will help to subsidise the affordable homes. It will also grant the council access to investment land and Right To Buy receipts.

A report outlining how the company will be delivered – either by joint venture or wholly owned by the council – will be considered by the council’s executive committee over in the coming months.

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