New council housing is to be built at an unused site in the Northern Quarter. The single-storey units facing Newton Street and the car park behind it in Postal Street are set to be turned into at least 100 low-carbon apartments.
At least 20 pc of the development would be available for ‘accessible rent’ which means they will be priced at or below local housing benefit levels. This is the second city center scheme announced by Manchester council’s new development arm This City which aims to build 500 new homes a year.
Labor councilor Gavin White, who is the executive member for housing and employment at Manchester council, said: “The idea behind This City is to increase the number of homes accessible to Manchester residents, so it’s great to see the second site be brought forward quickly following the launch of the company last month.Once again Postal Street will deliver both market and accessible rent homes – the latter helping to increase the number of affordable homes in the city center that give Manchester people more choice about where they live.”
READ MORE: Manchester council homes boost as 500 a year set to be built and first site revealed
The sale of the Postal Street site, which has been unused for a number of years now, was completed by Manchester council in the last few months. The site is anticipated to accommodate a minimum of 100 new apartments with at least 20 pc priced at or below the Local Housing Allowance level and therefore accessible to Manchester residents receiving housing benefit.
The development will include a shared residents’ lounge and garden space and will seek Environmentally Conscious Buildings (AECB) accreditation. This City, the housing delivery company behind it, will build a mix of accessible and market rent homes – with the latter helping to subsidize the accessible rent properties and increase the number of affordable homes in the city.
Last month, the local authority announced the first scheme brought forward by This City on Rodney Street in Ancoats, which will deliver 128 low-carbon apartments and townhouses – 30 pc of which will be for affordable rent. The Rodney Street site will also include a public green and public realm space.
Manchester council says it is on track to exceed its ‘ambitious’ target to help build 6,400 new affordable homes between 2015 and 2025 – accounting for at least a fifth of the city’s pipeline of 32,000 homes. Now, more than 7,000 affordable homes are expected to be built by 2025.
Council leader Bev Craig said: “Our ambition is that This City will scale up home delivery as quickly as possible to 500 homes a year. Our aim is to directly build the homes we know Manchester people need, helping to meet demand for high quality affordable homes, and This City will play an important role in building the many new social and accessible rent homes we need.”
A consultation will open in the summer to gather public views on the proposals for the Postal Street scheme ahead of a planning application later this year. Hawkins/Brown have been selected as the architect for the project, with Faithful + Gould acting as project managers.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.