Manchester is currently experiencing a huge rate of growth that requires a planned vision to meet the housing demand for both buying and renting.
An ambitious strategy to ensure Manchester can build a minimum of 25,000 homes over the next decade, is set to be approved by the City Council’s executive.
Having been the fastest growing in the UK between 2001 and 2011, with more than 80,000 people moving to Manchester, the city’s growth has continued over the last five years.
The city’s reputation is internationally competitive with fast growing employment sectors (particularly in digital, creative, life sciences and construction) and renowned education institutions, which are helping to retain working people.
However to support this continued growth, the city needs a range of affordable housing products across all housing types, while being mindful of high quality standards and sustainability.
Following a consultation, the Residential Growth Strategy (RGS) sets out six priority themes for housing in the city that will ensure Manchester remains attractive and liveable.
The action plan will be reviewed and updated annually to monitor and refresh the actions to ensure homes continue to be built amid a changing housing landscape.
Firstly the RGS aims to ‘Increase house building on existing and new sites’. The inevitability of house prices is guaranteed with a growing population. There is increased risk of a growing affordability gap, a lack of coherence between income and available housing and a housing offer that is more unattractive and crowded.
The next theme will involve improving ‘the quality and sustainability of the city’s housing’. Excellent housing is imperative at all prices and tenures to create strong communities and areas where people want to lay down roots.
Thirdly, RGS will ‘Increase opportunities for home ownership’. Manchester will work with Manchester Place and developers to ensure there is a diverse portfolio of housing that includes homes that are affordable to first time buyers.
‘Expand the city’s family housing offer’ is the fourth theme. The housing offer is set to create neighbourhoods in the city, rather than out of it, for new families in areas of strong demand.
The fifth theme is to ‘Professionalise the private rented sector across the city’. The recently launched Manchester Market Rental Pledge looks to improve the support mechanisms in place for tenants, and a targeted approach to landlord licensing may also be required.
Finally, RGS seeks to ‘Provide appropriate housing options for retirement living’.
Options will be made available for people who want to stay in the city as they get older through positive down-sizing options. Sites have already been approved by the council for 400 specialist homes in the next five years.
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Put simply we need more high-quality, liveable homes with high sustainability credentials. These homes should be in attractive neighbourhoods with the services and amenities close by, supported by good transport links to educational facilities and employment. I think this strategy is what we need to make that happen”.