The man in charge of tackling Greater Manchester’s housing crisis says he is looking forward to ‘rolling his sleeves up and getting stuck in’ following the launch of major plans.
The city-region’s new housing strategy will go before combined authority leaders next week with the aim of providing ‘safe, decent and affordable housing for all’.
It includes a commitment to build at least 50,000 affordable homes by 2037, including 30,000 for social or affordable rent, plus proposals to address standards in the private rental sector through a Good Landlord scheme.
Pledges to ensure new homes are carbon neutral and a fresh focus on providing appropriate accommodation for vulnerable residents are also included in draft plans expected to be approved by the GMCA next Friday.
Salford mayor Paul Dennett, who is GM’s housing lead, said the strategy is ‘really significant’ with the government acknowledging the nation has a ‘broken housing market’.
“The housing crisis takes many forms, and the challenges we face in Greater Manchester need solutions that work for our communities and residents,” he added.
“We are focusing on where we can make a real difference by working together across the city-region, either to deliver real change on the ground, or to make the case to Government for the national changes needed to help tackle the challenges faced by people in GM.”
Greater Manchester will determine its own definition of what constitutes affordable housing and rent rates, Mayor Dennett said.
Meanwhile, the Good Landlord Scheme aims to promote standards with landlords able to receive accreditation for treating tenants fairly in terms of rents, deposits, tenancy length and evictions.
Attempts to tackle poor housing stock and bring long-term empty homes back into use are already underway, bosses have also said, with surpluses from the GM Housing Investment Loans Fund (GMHILF) used for residential regeneration in town centres.
Mayor Dennett added: “I’m really enthused by what I’m seeing, this strategy is a bottom-up, grass-roots approach; it involves, public and private sectors, community and voluntary sectors, academics and social enterprises – a whole host of different stakeholders.
“Having strategies and policies is one thing, though, but actually making this a reality is the challenge GM now faces.
“So I’m looking forward to rolling my sleeves up and getting stuck into the operational plan that will underpin all of this now.”
Further commitments to prioritise brownfield sites across GM and for every new build home to be carbon-neutral by 2028 are also included in the plans.
They will be discussed by leaders of GM’s 10 councils and the mayor next week.
Mayor Andy Burnham said: “It is absolutely necessary for everyone to have a good home.
“We need to make sure we are building more homes and also that we are taking action to raise standards across the city-region so that the needs of all our residents are met.”
Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in Tameside, Oldham or Rochdale? Let us know by emailing email@example.com , calling us on 0161 621 6515 , tweeting us @rev962 or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.