Policy Briefing: Manchester City Council Affordable Housing Policy

By: Cecil Sagoe
Published: June 2019

Policy brieifing: Manchester City Council affordable housing policy

Homelessness has risen starkly in Manchester. Between 2011 and 2018 the number of homeless households in temporary accommodation rose from nearly 273 to 1483. Additionally, as of 2018, 4,042 (1 in 135) people were recorded as homeless in Manchester. This is the highest rate of homelessness for North England.

Good levels of social housing delivery are critical to redressing homelessness and addressing social housing need. However, Manchester City Council's recent record of planning for and delivering social housing is very poor. For example, in 2017/18 of 2,974 homes delivered in Manchester only 28 were social rent homes.

There are a variety of factors that shape a local authority’s ability to successfully deliver social housing within its boundary. These include factors that are outside of the local authority’s direct control. However, there is also something else that Manchester City Council can do, which is more tightly within its control, to increase social housing delivery within Manchester: amend its affordable housing policy.

There are three main changes that Manchester City Council needs to make to its affordable housing policy and guidance. Manchester City Council should:

1. develop social housing requirements within its Local Plan. In line with Shelter's Future of Social Housing report, the council must do everything possible to secure decent social homes that are affordable for all those who would benefit from them.

2. remove get out clauses from local planning to make sure developers are unable to sidestep their responsibility to build social homes.

3. ensure that developers provide 20% affordable housing on all developments, as required by its local planning policy.