The mayor of Salford has warned that Greater Manchester is at risk of being “left out in the cold” when it comes to government funding to boost housing development, as the area unveiled its plans to build thousands of affordable homes over the next two decades.
Paul Dennett said money to back housing development was “skewed to London and the South” and that the Greater Manchester area had asked the government for £68m as part of a housing deal for the area, but had been unsuccessful.
Greater Manchester unveiled its housing strategy this morning, which contained a commitment to build 50,000 affordable homes in the region by 2037, 30,000 of which will be for social or affordable rent. These would be built by working in partnership with housing providers, local authorities, Homes England and government to maximise investment in new social housing.
Mr Dennett, who is also Greater Manchester’s housing lead, said: “We are asking developers and housing associations to do more to build genuinely affordable housing, working with them on their viability assessments.”
But he said the key to moving housing development forward was building infrastructure.
“We’ve been talking about powering the Northern Powerhouse and it’s great having power, but what Manchester and the North need now is investment,” he said. “The last thing we need is to be left out in the cold when it comes to funding and infrastructure.”
In April, Inside Housing reported that the government had cancelled a £68m housing deal for the council, in return for which it would help with land remediation to deliver 4,200 homes and regenerate Manchester’s Collyhurst area. Mr Dennett said the withdrawal of the deal would bring a “whole host of issues” for the region.
The housing strategy also includes:
The housing strategy will be put before leaders at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) meeting later this month.
The strategy – the first since the election of the mayor of Greater Manchester two years ago – builds upon Greater Manchester’s Housing Vision, launched in January.
Steps have already been taken by the GMCA to tackle poor housing stock in the city-region by investing surpluses from the GM Housing Investment Loans Fund and prioritising residential regeneration of urban centres in each of the 10 boroughs.
But Mr Dennett said more money was needed to tackle the area’s industrial heritage, as many sites suitable for housing needed remedial work.