Council builds first homes in more than seven years

The North Manchester project completion marks 100 years since the first wave of major council housebuilding.

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40 new affordable Council-built homes in north Manchester have now been handed over to tenants, along with 20 new, Council-bought shared ownership homes that aim to help residents onto the property ladder.

The 40 two-bed homes – built by Willmott Dixon with £1.4m grant funding from Homes England – are spread across six sites across north Manchester, and will be managed by the Council’s housing management organisation, Northwards Housing.

The City Council has also purchased 20 new, high-quality family homes in partnership with Taylor Wimpey at Booth Hall in Charlestown, north Manchester that will be repurposed with the aim of supporting Manchester people onto the property ladder through affordable shared-ownership.

The next phase of the north Manchester new homes project will be announced later this year and is set to include a further 150 homes.

These affordable homes projects represent the first phase of an affordable housing investment programme that aims to see 6,400 genuinely affordable homes built by 2025.

Since April 2015, 3,000 affordable homes have either already been delivered or are in the pipeline, with the full quota to be delivered by March 2021, and a further 3,400 affordable homes will be built by March 2025 – at least 1,000 of which will be social rent.

After the First World War, the 1919 Addison Act prompted the first major wave of Council house building through the ‘Homes fit for Heroes’ programme, which looked to replace slum dwellings and bolster new home building, driven by local councils.

Cllr Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “This time last year the we visited small plots across north Manchester with a vision to see the first Council home building in seven years. Having visited one of these homes this week I can confidently say the end product is a testament to our ambition.

“The quality of these homes is incredible and the result is highly efficient and cheap to run family homes.

She added: “We are committed to bringing new affordable homes to Manchester people, and these 60 homes show our ambition to make sure there are different types of housing coming to market, from rental properties to options that are helping Manchester people buy their own home.

“Importantly, these homes contribute to strengthening the existing neighbourhood, creating a stable community where Manchester people will want to live and put down roots.”

Sue Abbott, chair of the board at Northwards Housing, also commented, saying: “These homes are much-needed and are being snapped up by people who have been living in over-crowded or temporary accommodation – people with genuine housing needs.

“We’re delighted these high-quality properties are now places families can call home, and we look forward to seeing even more affordable housing built in north Manchester.”

Carl Moore, Head of Home Ownership and Supply (North West) for Homes England, added: “These new homes offer the high quality accommodation people in Manchester deserve.

“We welcome ambitious partners like Manchester City Council who want to work with us to deliver the homes our communities need.”

Anthony Dillon, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the North provided further comment, saying: “The positivity and community spirit surrounding the delivery of these highly-anticipated homes is inspiring. This project represents a truly positive legacy far beyond just bricks and mortar.

“Throughout this project we have been focussed on helping to raise the aspirations and opportunities available to the north Manchester community, providing a range of jobs and training on our sites, and we are delighted to be able to see the fantastic reactions of those moving into their new homes.”

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