THE first new council homes to be built in north Manchester in over seven years have been rented out to tenants.
The 40 two-bedroom homes were built across six sites and will be managed by council’s management organisation, Northwards Housing.
Construction was carried out by Willmott Dixon with support from Homes England with £1.4 million grant funding.
The city council has also bought 20 new family homes in partnership with Taylor Wimpey at Booth Hall in Charlestown, north Manchester. These are to be part-sold through shared ownership.
According to the city council, there has been a great deal of interest in the shared-ownership properties, with 16 either completed or in the process of being sold, with a final four left remaining for new owners.
“This time last year the we visited small plots across north Manchester with a vision to see the first council home building in seven years,” said Councillor Suzanne Richards, the city council’s executive member for housing and regeneration.
“Having visited one of these homes this week I can confidently say the end product is a testament to our ambition. The quality of these homes is incredible and the result is highly efficient and cheap to run family homes.
“We are committed to bringing new affordable homes to Manchester people and these 60 homes show our ambition to make sure there are different types of housing coming to market, from rental properties to options that are helping Manchester people buy their own home.
“Importantly these homes contribute to strengthening the existing neighbourhood, creating a stable community where Manchester people will want to live and put down roots.”
Sue Abbott, chair of Northwards Housing’s board, added: “These homes are much-needed and are being snapped up by people who have been living in over-crowded or temporary accommodation; people with genuine housing needs. We’re delighted these high-quality properties are now places families can call home and we look forward to seeing even more affordable housing built in north Manchester.”
The next phase of the north Manchester new homes project will be announced later this year and will include a further 150 new homes, the council said.
These projects will represent the first phase of an affordable housing investment programme that is expected to deliver 6,400 “genuinely affordable homes” built up to 2025.
Since April 2015, 3,000 affordable homes have either already been delivered or are in the pipeline, with the full quota to be delivered by March 2021, and a further 3,400 affordable homes will be built by March 2025 – at least 1,000 of which will be social rent.
“The positivity and community spirit surrounding the delivery of these highly-anticipated homes is inspiring. This project represents a truly positive legacy far beyond just bricks and mortar,” said Anthony Dillon, Willmott Dixon’s managing director in the North.
“Throughout this project we have been focused on helping to raise the aspirations and opportunities available to the north Manchester community, providing a range of jobs and training on our sites, and we are delighted to be able to see the fantastic reactions of those moving into their new homes.”