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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
NewsAndy Burnham pledges 10,000 new council homes in Greater Manchester by 2028

Andy Burnham pledges 10,000 new council homes in Greater Manchester by 2028

Newly re-elected mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has made tackling the housing crisis a top priority for his third term.

He has unveiled measures to increase the amount of social housing in the city-region, improve the standard of rented accommodation and end the housing crisis in Greater Manchester by 2038.

The mayor’s announcements include:

  • Creating a new GM Housing First unit which, by the end of 2024, will publish a detailed plan to deliver at least 10,000 new council homes in this mayoral term.
  • Identifying brownfield sites and land owned by public bodies for at least 1,000 of these new council homes in each GM borough.
  • A formal request to government for powers to suspend the Right to Buy on new council homes and to allow wider suspension at the request of councils in areas where pressure on social housing is greatest.
  • A pilot scheme offering residents the right to request a property check – to be rolled out across Greater Manchester by the end of 2024.
  • Opening the new GM Good Landlord Charter to applications by the summer, setting out standards for rental properties, and supporting landlords to meet them.
  • Expanding the much-valued ‘A Bed Every Night’ scheme to at least 600 places every night, to provide crucial support to rough sleepers as the national cost-of-living crisis continues, with the Mayor continuing to donate 15% of his salary each month to support the scheme.
  • A new enforcement capability that will work with councils to make greater use of compulsory purchase order (CPO) powers over non-decent and empty properties to expand the city-region’s social-rented stock.

Mr Burnham, said: “Greater Manchester can’t achieve its full potential as long as it remains in the grip of a housing crisis.  That is why I am setting a new ambition for the city-region to end it within a decade.

“Ten thousand new council homes will help to do that as long as stock can be retained.  That’s why we’re calling for the suspension of Right to Buy.

“Everyone deserves to live in a good, safe home and by building new council homes, and suspending the Right to Buy on them, we can give our councils the breathing space they desperately need to replenish their stock, so that all of those waiting in temporary accommodation or on the housing registers have the chance to access good homes.”

Access to social housing is essential to many residents in Greater Manchester, as capped rent increases provide some protection to tenants against the soaring rents seen in the private rented sector.

The average rental price of a two-bed property in Manchester increased by 12.5% between February 2023-24, against an England average of 8.9%. Limiting access to affordable social housing can therefore help fuel a rise in housing insecurity, homelessness, and families in temporary accommodation.

The new ‘Housing First’ approach aims to address the main challenges for housing in Greater Manchester – poor living standards, especially in the private rented sector and low availability of truly-affordable housing – by implementing a collaborative, multi-agency approach that can address issues by developing tailored, whole-system solutions.

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