GM to combine housing association plans

Greater Manchester is due to get new powers around housing delivery as part of next week’s Government spending review, including setting joint targets with housing associations.

Greater Manchester’s submission to the spending review process included “a number of proposals for further reforms, freedoms and flexibilities which Government is currently considering,” according to a report to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority by Eamonn Boylan, chief executive of Stockport and lead officer on housing in the city region.

Inside Housing magazine reported on Monday that Greater Manchester’s 30 registered providers and 10 councils are preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding to agree targets covering issues such as employment, health, crime and disorder as well as housing supply.

Dave Power, chief executive of One Manchester, said: “This is a really positive move that will safeguard the effectiveness of the partnerships in our sector, as well as helping to maximise opportunities around Greater Manchester’s newly devolved powers.

“It is worth pointing out that this MoU has been announced at the same time as a BBC poll found almost two-thirds of people in the North of England have not heard of the Northern Powerhouse. With our collective access to one in four homes across the region – 12,500 of which are properties managed by One Manchester – housing associations in Greater Manchester are uniquely placed to influence change in this respect. Not only can we ensure that our residents have heard of the Northern Powerhouse and devolution agenda, but more importantly, we can place them at the very heart of its ambition.”

The GMCA proposals submitted to Government for the spending review process include:

  • New funding mechanisms to support site remediation and infrastructure provision to accelerate development of new housing
  • Reform of the New Homes Bonus
  • Making better use of social housing assets to support growth
  • Devolution of stamp duty

Chancellor George Osborne is due to unveil the spending review alongside the autumn statement on Wednesday 25 November.

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