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The £1.2bn affordable housing opportunity

Affordable Housing

Something like £1.2bn of institutional money is waiting to get building in the region. Since the North West faces an increasingly out-of-control housing crisis. Who can open the door?

Yet another major Manchester residential development has been approved without a single unit of affordable housing. Renaker’s SimpsonHaugh-designed scheme at Trinity Islands provides towers of 39, 48, 55 and 60 storeys. There is space for 566 cars (this in a city which proclaims its net zero carbon ambitions) yet no room for affordable homes.

A piddling £106,000 initial contribution will be made to off-site affordable housing. It is about enough to build two thirds of a smallish house (literally). Reminder: it is a £494m scheme. At this stage it would be “unviable” to do anything more generous.

Out of control

This comes at a time when Manchester’s housing crisis is described as “feeling increasingly out of control.” The number of households in temporary accommodation in the city is about 50% higher (per 100,000 residents) than Birmingham, about 100% higher than Bristol, and a staggering 6,480% higher than Leeds. Subplot is not making this up, check the graphs here. Private rents are so high that there’s only one area of the city (Harpurhey) still affordable to people on benefits. And it is more than 4,000 city children are in emergency space.

End the embarrassment

New Manchester council leader Cllr Bev Craig was installed by her Labour colleagues to put a stop to this kind of embarrassment. Last week, a Local Government Association peer review of the council’s policy and programmes gave her some cover, pinpointing failures in affordable housing as one of a handful of could-do-betters. The council points to its This City council housebuilding operation (see below) and says it knows there’s a job to do.

Institutional money

There is another way: institutional money, and potentially a lot of it. If the North West were to get its usual allocation (based on current regional spreads) this pot could easily be £1.2bn, and potentially a lot more. That’s because private sector investors have spotted an opportunity in an expanding spectrum of housing niches. Legal & General have set up an affordable housing business to help deliver 3,000 or more a year by the middle of the decade. Sage Housing is backed by American private equity megafund Blackstone (it raised £500m last autumn). M&G Investments is behind Hyde.

We found this articles about Affordable housing, Liverpool offices on Place Northwest. Kindly click the link to read the full story.

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