The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have approved a funding bid that will help the City Council continue a targeted project to improve private sector housing standards.
Manchester has been given £280k from the DCLG’s controlling migration fund that will be used to target unscrupulous landlords that can take advantage of immigrants or people who have no status to remain in the UK.
This project follows a pilot project last year, which also successfully bid for DCLG funding, focused on sub-standard accommodation above shops as a key area of problem housing, largely in areas of deprivation.
Through this programme, it became clear that rogue landlord activity together with information from officers working directly in the neighbourhoods, has the potential to uncover migrant issues.
This new tranche of funding will allow the continuation of investigation work targeting properties of known rogue landlords that have been identified through previous and on-going compliance work.
Manchester has more than 9,000 flats above commercial premises and, although many will be in good condition, previous schemes have identified problems in some areas exacerbated by subletting and substandard accommodation provided as part of employment.
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Immigrants can be vulnerable to unscrupulous landlords where housing conditions are poor and often exacerbated by subletting. This also means that immigrants can find it harder to integrate fully into Manchester life and contribute to the city’s economy.
“We welcome this funding as it will allow us to continue our targeted approach to rogue landlords operating in the private rented sector – in particular flats located above shops – and help improve safety, living conditions, and in turn the wider community.”