Work has started on a new Council housing project that will see 40 new homes built across sites in north Manchester – the first time grant funding has been made available since 178 Council homes were built in West Gorton five years ago.
The homes will be built with Council funding, together with a £1.4m grant from the Homes England Affordable Homes Programme – and will be available for affordable rent, managed by Northwards Housing.
The 40 two-bed homes will be built by Willmott Dixon across six small ‘in fill’ sites in Collyhurst, Moston and Harpurhey and are expected to be completed in autumn this year.
Manchester’s population has increased by more than 80,000 between 2001 and 2011 – a rise of nearly 20%, and the highest of any town or city in the UK.
It is important that the city can continue to support home building to support the large demand for quality housing that is affordable to Manchester people.
To ensure demand is met, Manchester’s affordability policy has set an ambitious target of between 1,000 and 2,000 affordable homes being available each year and commits to replacing social rented homes lost to right to buy and sales.
It is important that Manchester people can afford to live in new housing in the city, which is why Manchester came up with a city-specific affordability definition.
To be affordable, the annual cost of a home must be no more than 30% of the average gross household income (including benefits) – which in Manchester is £27,000. For context, two people working on the national minimum wage would earn £30,000pa.
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It never fails to be an exciting moment when a project with so much potential starts on site. Today is no different and I look forward to returning to the sites throughout the project to see the homes come out of the ground.
“These homes represent the first grant funded council housing built for a number of years and will go towards replacing some of the many homes that we have lost to Right To Buy and demolitions, and help support the much needed pipeline of quality affordable homes to meet the huge demand in Manchester.”
Sue Abbott, chair of the board at Northwards Housing, said: “We know there’s demand for these homes so we’re delighted that work has now begun. We look forward to seeing the project progress and watching the bricks and mortar turn into homes for Manchester people.”
Stuart Belfield, Operations Director at Willmott Dixon, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to build the first new Council homes in Manchester for 5 years. Willmott Dixon are not only committed to constructing high quality new homes which are very much in demand, but we’re also focussed on helping to raise the aspirations and life chances of local people by providing a range of jobs and training opportunities on our sites.”
Carl Moore, Head of Home Ownership and Supply at Homes England, said:
“This is really good news for local residents since there will be another 40 truly affordable homes and it great to see the difference our £1.4 million has made.”