Significant investment to undertake major works will transform the Ben Street residential area providing quality homes to help meet large housing demand in the city.
The Ben Street neighbourhood in Clayton – close to the Etihad Stadium and National Cycling Centre – holds significant potential to improve and expand the housing offer in the area.
Demand for homes has risen in tandem with Manchester’s massive population growth, and as many residents are finding it more difficult to get on the property ladder, the need for high quality rental properties has also been driven up.
The major works will start early 2018, and the scheme will include full refurbishment of 62 currently vacant properties that the City Council has recently acquired from The Guinness Northern Counties, as well as facelift works to another 151 properties, with other improvements to the street and public areas, including works to the shared alleyways.
The project will be carried out by leading housing maintenance provider Wates Living Space and, when finished, the empty homes being refurbished will be managed by One Manchester - which will be affordable to Manchester people, using the Manchester specific definition of affordability.
The refurbishment works will bring the 62 empty homes up to decent homes standards with re-roofing works, energy efficiency upgrades, new fully-fitted kitchens and bathrooms, flooring and carpeting, with new heating system, lighting and power, along with alarm systems, and fire and smoke detection systems.
The facelift works to the front of properties will, where needed, replace all existing windows and doors with modern UPVC, improve guttering, and clean brickwork before repointing the mortar.
Alleyway improvements will include removing overgrown vegetation, new gating to all properties and essential repairs to the alleyway walls.
New traffic calming measures will be introduced following resurfacing works in the area, narrowing the carriageway that will be subject to a 20mph speed restriction. New trees will also be planted and new car parking developed.
One Manchester will also be purchasing a further five empty properties to further enhance the Ben Street area, which it will refurbish and manage.
As a second phase to the scheme, a vacant site currently owned by Manchester City Council on Alpine Street and Ilk Street will make way for around 55 new family homes, expected to start on site in two years.
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Renewing the city’s housing is a key element of our housing strategy, enabling us to use our resources most effectively to keep up with demand for high quality homes.
“We have been very successful in bringing Council-owned empties back in to use, but this scheme sees us acquiring long-term empties to make sure the city’s current housing stock is being utilised.
“The Ben Street area is already brilliantly serviced with great transport links, leisure facilities, school and shops, so we have an opportunity here to deliver a really successful neighbourhood.”
Dave Power, chief executive of One Manchester, said: “Working together with the city council means we can bring these much-needed former homes back into use. We want to make sure our residents will have a home in a growing and thriving area, that they can rent for the long term.”
Anyone who is interested in renting a property can register their interest via the One Manchester website https://www.onemanchester.co.uk/housing/find-a-home
David Morgan, Managing Director of Wates Living Space, said: “The investment being made by Manchester City Council marks a huge commitment to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Manchester and we are fully committed to ensuring that this is fulfilled to the highest possible standard.
“At the centre of this important work are the residents, and, together with the council, our team is already in close consultation with local communities, listening to and understanding their queries. We are also keen to highlight the many opportunities for training and employment that we will be creating across the city, helping to ensure that our presence has a positive and lasting impact on our neighbours.”