Manchester seeks to retake control of affordable homes
Manchester City Council is consulting on whether to bring 13,000 homes back under council management, for the first time in 15 years.
Council-owned social housing in the city is predominantly managed by Northwards Housing, an arm’s length management organisation.
The review will look at the most appropriate option for how council-owned social housing is managed, although the council has already said its current preferred option is to bring management of these homes back in-house.
The move comes as council budgets are placed under increased strain due to changes in the Housing Revenue Account system, which has seen a Government-implemented 1% reduction over four years, resulting in a deficit of £11m over 30 years.
Meanwhile, the council revealed its intention to set up an affordable housing development company earlier this year, with a report progressing the proposals to be decided on today by the executive committee.
The plans were agreed in principle by the executive in March, with the aim of increasing the number of multi-tenure, eco-friendly, high-quality homes for lower-income families.
Manchester’s homebuilding target is for at least 32,000 homes to be built in the city between 2015 and 2025, of which 6,400, 20%, will be affordable to Manchester residents.
A local housing delivery company has the potential to deliver 2,000 homes, or 500 each year, up to 2025.
The business case review will be reported back to the council’s executive in September.
Cllr Suzanne Richard, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “We want Manchester residents to benefit from high quality, well-managed social housing. The most recent review of the Council’s ALMO was in 2016 and it is now timely that we do so again.
“Zero carbon retrofit, further fire safety investment and the need for continued investment in our existing homes brings with it huge financial challenges. It’s therefore right we should take the time to reflect on the challenges ahead and the best way to meet these.”