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Manchester launches £300m housing fund

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Manchester City Council has launched a £300m housing fund to unlock stalled sites in the city for development and build up to 220,000 homes over the next two decades

The fund, which was created as part of the city’s devolution agreement, is a key element of Manchester’s plan to create high-quality homes on the city fringe and beyond.

The authority has estimated that 10,000 new homes need to be built every year to meet demand of the growing population and developers have been urged to take advantage of the funding to start building.

The fund aims to deliver 220,000 homes over the next twenty years, with the loan funds expected to be fully recovered and recycled 2.5 times during that time. The total development value is predicted to be £1.5billion over the lifetime of the loan fund.

Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council said: ‘It’s about scaling up our housebuilding activity in Greater Manchester. This fund is a fundamental piece of the jigsaw. We want to engage with developers and we want to commit that money as quickly as possible.’

Housing supply continues to lag behind Greater Manchester’s current strong economic and jobs growth and needs to accelerate in order to accommodate a growing population. More than 10,000 new homes need to be built, year on year, to meet demand. The fund was initially revealed earlier this year, when it had it could build 55,000 homes in the city per year by 2027.

Local Authorities in the region have identified more than 30 sites with an existing planning permission that have yet to start on site. Deborah McLaughlin chief executive of Manchester City Council’s housing delivery body Manchester Place, said: ‘We cannot afford to sit back when there is a desperate need for new housing.”

‘We’re open for business so my message is to come and talk to us as soon as possible. We want to hear from developers. We are looking for viable schemes.

‘Some schemes might tick all the boxes but just require some finance to get some started. We have to repay this money back to government so we want schemes that are good to go.’

Manchester currently has three projects already on the table with two looking for £10m and a third looking for £”5m to get started. The first schemes are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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