A new Housing Affordability Fund will help Manchester deliver around 2,500 more affordable homes in the next five years – in addition to those already in the pipeline – by investing up to £2 million a year.
The Fund – which will bring together developer affordable housing contributions and other funding streams in a single pot – will help subsidise homes that are affordable to rent or buy across the city.
It will be invested by the Council to help deliver as much affordable housing as possible as a key part of the 2,500-plus homes being built every year to help meet the city’s housing demand.
As part of this renewed affordable housing drive, the Council has earmarked four initial Housing Affordability Zones where the Council has significant land interests which can be used to help stimulate affordable housing.
The first zones will be in North Manchester, Clayton, Beswick and Wythenshawe town centre.
The zones are areas where the Council owns a significant amount of land and can help deliver affordable housing most quickly and efficiently, but developments across the city have the potential to include homes that are affordable.
Manchester is believed to be unique among local authorities in having a definition of affordable housing for those at or below the average household income in the city – ensuring that no more than a third of this is required for rent or mortgage payments. For the purposes of the Council’s affordable housing framework, affordable housing is defined as lower cost market housing and homes for social rent, affordable rent, shared ownership, shared equity and rent to purchase.
The city is also determined to make the best use of its existing social housing stock, at 68,000 a third of all homes in Manchester – the highest proportion of any city outside London.
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester is a sought-after place to live and meeting the demand for all types of housing is essential. A key part of this is ensuring a choice of decent homes at prices which Manchester people at or below the average city wage can afford.
“We know this is a real concern for Mancunians. Our fund is an innovative response to this challenge and the proposed housing affordability zones will give us an opportunity to help create momentum.”
Overseeing the right housing mix for the city, including a wide range of affordable housing to own or rent, is part of creating the conditions which will ensure people can get in and stay in sustainable housing.
The proposals will be discussed at the Council’s Executive on Wednesday 18 October.