The council is to combine its housing strategy and residential growth documents into a single plan that takes into account both the significant upturn in new residents and growing inequality in the city.
The new strategy would run up to 2030, which would mean an update of the residential growth target.
While that expanded figure has not yet been revealed, Nick Cole, Manchester City Council’s strategic lead on housing strategy & policy, told Place North West that, subject to member approval, “it is envisaged that the existing residential growth target (32,000 new homes by 2025 including 6,400 affordable homes) will be retained and incorporated into a new longer term ten-year target as part of the new Manchester City Council Housing Strategy 2021”.
A presentation is to be made to the council’s economy scrutiny committee on 24 June, outlining the housing department’s desire to establish a new policy framework – the current housing strategy document being in its last year, while the residential growth document runs 2015-2025.
As supporting documentation outlines, Manchester’s housing market has been transformed in the last 30 years, with the most striking development being “the creation of a series of new, high demand neighbourhoods,” principally in and around the city core.
According to the report, more than 17,500 new homes have been built across Manchester since 2015, representing around 55% of the 32,000 target, with a further 15,000 expected to complete over the next five years.
Although the report says that “even more homes of all types and tenures are required” as the result of a prolonged employment and population boom that has seen more than 50,000 new residents come to the city since 2015, no further detail is yet revealed on policy around specific market segemts, such as co-living, promoted in various areas as a more accessible city living model.
Manchester, like all cities hit by funding cuts and the added impact of Covid-19, is also keen to boost tax receipts: close to three quarters of all homes remain within council tax bands A or B.
Further challenges relate to affordability and the shortage of affordable housing; the lack of options for home ownership and the growing numbers of households on the housing register and living in temporary accommodation, leading to a “highly polarised city with major wealth and housing inequalities across Manchester”.
The broad policy themes of the proposed document are:
- Increase housing supply across all tenures
- Ensure housing is affordable and accessible to those who need it most
- Working in mixed tenure neighbourhoods and improving quality and management in the private rented sector
- Increase the sustainability, safety and efficiency of new and existing stock
After consultation, it is hoped the new document will go before Manchester’s executive by year end.