Manchester council tackles housing crisis

Published:  09 February, 2012

MANCHESTER: Council chiefs have unveiled plans to help the housing crisis by launching a 'Manchester mortgage' for first-time buyers – and £25m of pension cash is to be used to build new homes.

Bosses have identified five sites on which it aims to build nearly 250 properties for sale or rent as part of a pilot scheme. The Greater Manchester Pension Fund will pay for the construction costs and the programme could be rolled-out over 10 years if it proves successful.

As part its plans, Manchester council also wants to create a mortgage guarantee scheme to help people get on the property ladder by underwriting up to 20% of their loan. New homes built with pension fund cash would be in Chorlton, Wythenshawe and Gorton.

Talks are under way with the Co-operative Bank and Manchester Building Society about the Manchester mortgage concept.

Councillor Paul Andrews, executive member for neighbourhood services, said: "In the current economic climate, the levels of development being brought forward and the availability of mortgage finance are not keeping pace with the city's needs.

"That's why the council, working with Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the Homes and Communities Agency, is looking to bring forward an innovative new model for investing in new housing which will help address this issue."

Four sites owned by Manchester council and one by the Homes and Communities Agency have been identified for 244 new houses to be built.

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