The regeneration of Brunswick will see major transformation in the neighbourhood at the fringe of Manchester’s city centre. The area will see major new housing investment and improvement works through to 2038.
The major £100m PFI programme – in partnership with S4B – began in 2014 (contract signed in 2013) and when completed will see more than 500 new family homes. These will include 200 council homes for social rent and 300 homes for sale. More than 650 homes in the area will be refurbished with new kitchens and bathrooms.
The wider neighbourhood will see improvements to green spaces, including Gartside Gardens, the introduction of an allotment and new shops.
Well-managed short-term lets in appropriate areas of the city can be positive when they offer tourists or business travellers an alternative option for accommodation. However, it is recognised that poorly managed properties can negatively impact the host community.
The City Council is now using Brunswick as the blueprint to ensure family homes in similar key regeneration areas are not lost to the investor market or short-term lets. The aim is to protect and build a long-term community of people.
To ensure these homes remain in the hands of Manchester residents, strict covenants are in place that prevent properties being sold to private landlords who would likely turn the properties into short-term lets or make available as student homes (Houses of Multiple Occupation), given the close proximity to the city’s universities.
S4B’s sales team initially market the new build homes directly to local people prior to the plots being released on the open market. Background checks make sure that the buyers are not investors, while also signing an undertaking to confirm they intend to live in the home.
If a home is sold in the future, the covenants carry over to the next owner continuing to protect the community from the investor market. And if an owner does need to let their home due to a change in circumstances, the property can only be let to a family type household and must be managed through an approved letting agent.
Nine cases so far
Nine cases have already been identified and issues resolved around short-term letting, including three court injunctions that have led to costs of more than £2,600 being assigned to residents who have breached the covenants.
In most cases neighbourhood officers work closely with residents to rectify issues around sub-letting or short-term lets through third party sites, such as Air BnB and Spareroom.com.
The refurbishment works to each of the 650 existing council homes has now been completed, while 122 council homes for rent and 91 homes for sale have now been built.
Next year a new 60 apartment Extra Care scheme will also start on site that will provide high-quality accommodation for older people should they wish to downsize from their family homes.
Around 200 homes for sale are expected to be built in the next three years.