New Ancoats townhouses and flats will be first project for Manchester City Council housing company

This City plans to bring more affordable homes to Manchester in a new venture.

The first homes to be built by a new Manchester city council housing company will be in Ancoats as the town hall plans to go it alone and build 500 homes a year.

The development in Rodney Street is the first to be put forward by Manchester city council’s new housing company This City which launches today (4 February).

The wholly-owned council company set up by leaders last summer promises to accelerate the number of new homes available to the people of Manchester.

This City will focus on delivering high-quality, low-carbon homes, offering a mix of properties at prices ranging from market rates to accessible rent.

Profits from the pricier properties will be used to subsidise the development of homes rented at or below the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate – which means they will be accessible to people in receipt of housing benefit.

View From North West of the Rodney Street scheme by This City. Credit: Manchester City Council

The Rodney Street scheme in Ancoats has been unveiled as the first project by the new company, with 128 apartments and townhouses planned for the site which had housing on it before, but has been scrub land for some years now.

Wates Construction has been appointed as the lead contractor responsible for delivering the new homes, 30 % of which will be available for accessible rent.

The council aims to deliver up to 500 new homes every year through This City with at least 20 % of each development set to be accessible rented homes.

What has the council said?

Manchester city council leader Bev Craig said: “Manchester has some ambitious and radical plans to see more homes built in our city that everyone can afford.

“Every resident in our city should have access to a good quality home and Manchester is leading the way in building our own homes as part of this.

“Seeing more homes at accessible rent is a real challenge in the city centre, so we’re building our own.

“That’s why I’m really pleased to launch This City with the development plan for Rodney Street, helping to meet demand for accessible rent homes.

Aerial View From South East of the Rodney Street scheme by This City. Credit: Manchester City Council.

“There is a lot more to come from This City. We will grow the potential of the company to deliver around 500 properties each year, using council-owned land to maximise our investment in new housing.

“And we hope to bring forward new sites quickly – so watch this space.”

‘It will help meet demand’

Manchester city council has come under some criticism in recent years for not delivering enough affordable housing – especially in the city centre itself.

The new council leader, who took from Sir Richard Leese in December when his 25-year reign ended, has highlighted affordable housing as a priority.

The local authority says it is now on track to exceed its ‘ambitious’ target for 6,400 new affordable homes to be built in the city between 2015 and 2025.

More than 7,000 affordable homes are now expected to be built by 2025, accounting for at least 20 % of Manchester’s pipeline of 32,000 homes.

Labour councillor Gavin White, who is the executive member for housing and employment at Manchester council, added: “Our bottom line is that everyone in this city deserves a safe, secure and decent home, and as Manchester continues to grow, we also need to increase the number of affordable rent and low carbon homes for Manchester people on lower incomes.

“This City will help us meet this demand, giving us a development vehicle for the first time to deliver the homes the city needs on our own terms.”

The Rodney Street site is part of a wider plan to build more than 400 new homes across four sites in the Pollard Street area and two sites in New Islington, building on the the recent regeneration of the neighbourhood.

Wates Construction, will work closely with its Technical Excellence Centre to design the homes using the latest technology and construction materials.

It will create energy efficient properties that ensure lower energy costs for residents, contributing to Manchester’s ambition to be zero carbon by 2038.

A consultation on the Rodney Street scheme is open from now until February 27 with planning applications expected to be submitted in summer 2022.

For more information, visit www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations.