Manchester to introduce affordability fund

The city council’s executive will next week discuss a proposal for a £2m annual Housing Affordability Fund that it said could help it deliver a further 2,500 affordable homes over the next five years.

The fund will bring together affordable housing contributions from developers and other funding streams into a single pot, helping to subsidise homes that are affordable to rent or buy across Manchester, the council said.

Four ‘housing affordability zones,’ where the council owns plenty of land and can thus assist in quick delivery, have been earmarked for the initial stages – Clayton, Beswick, North Manchester , which includes sites at Monsall and Moston Lane, and Wythenshawe town centre.

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 said that it is 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.”

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