We have introduced the Manchester Living Rent.
Manchester has enjoyed great successes in recent years. We are a growing city, our population is increasing, new jobs are being created and this is a place people want to live.
We want Manchester to be a place where everyone thrives and where everyone can benefit from the city’s success. This means building the homes people need, in communities people want to live in.
We need more homes for everyone, in all parts of the city. But to make Manchester truly a place that everyone can enjoy, we need a specific focus on making sure there are homes that everyone can afford.
The Manchester Living Rent is a key part of our plans. A level of genuinely affordable rent that’s easy to understand.
This is a level of rent that means we can make sure that new housing in the city is affordable to as many people as possible and increase the number of affordable homes to Manchester people.
What is the Manchester Living rent?
The Government introduced the term ‘affordable’ rent that is 80% of market value for an area.
For us in Manchester, this is not enough, we need to do more.
All the evidence suggests that to have a good quality of life, you shouldn’t have to spend more than a third of your income on your housing. However, as the cost of renting and buying a home goes up, we need a level of rent that we know Manchester people can afford.
The Manchester Living Rent is an amount of rent that is set at or below the Local Housing Allowance level – or LHA.
The Local Housing Allowance level is the rent level set by Government that will cover a person’s rent if they are on housing benefit.
The Manchester Living Rent is also cheaper to residents than the standard Government definition of Affordable Housing.
Why is the Manchester Living Rent important?
A safe and secure home, in an area that you are proud of. That’s what we want for everyone in our city
We know that what is affordable to different people in different parts of the city can vary a lot.
Definitions of housing can be confusing. We want something easy to understand, that we can build ourselves and get others to join our movement.
We will be making some ambitious commitments in our new Housing Strategy in July 2022 that will commit to building at least 10,000 new social and Manchester Living Rent homes over the next decade.
The national definition of affordable housing is set according to the market value of a particular area – or 80% of market value for a neighbourhood.
There are also other affordable housing types, such as social housing (60% of the market value for a neighbourhood) and various models helping residents buy a property, like Shared Ownership or Rent to Buy.
The problem with the broad definitions of affordable housing is that in areas where rent levels are higher, these homes are probably not affordable to lots of people in the city.
The Manchester Living Rent makes sure that homes are affordable to as many of our residents as possible, including those on housing benefit.
This means new development in the city can be accessed by more people, creating more diverse and sustainable communities.
Where will the Manchester Living Rent be used?
This is a level of rent that is used by the Council’s home building company, This City and we have made a commitment that at least 20% of all the homes built by the company will be set at the Manchester Living Rent.
Most Registered Providers and Housing Associations already cap their affordable homes at the Manchester Living Rent to ensure people on housing benefit can access their properties.
We want to see all Registered Providers and Housing Associations sign up to our movement for a Manchester Living Rent.
We would also like to see developers make a commitment to include properties set at the Manchester Living Rent to increase the housing options for all of our residents – and not just through the planning process.
And we will work with home builders to increase the number of affordable homes by adopting the Manchester Living Rent.