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Manchester Metro Mayor candidates urged to make housing a political priority

The National Housing Federation (NHF) is working with housing providers in Greater Manchester on a public campaign aimed at persuading the city region’s first ever Metro Mayor to deliver more “affordable” homes.

According to the NHF, there is strong public support for the delivery of new homes across the city region, and so it is working with the Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP), which is made up of 26 housing associations and organisations in the region, to push housing to the top of the political agenda ahead of the mayoral election on Thursday 4 May.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are rightly proud to call Greater Manchester their home. But with house prices now more than seven times the typical income, affordable housing is simply beyond the reach of far too many,” said Jon Lord, chief executive of GMHP member Bolton at Home.

“Local leadership has a vital role to play in tackling the housing crisis, and the new mayor must make housing a top priority to ensure everyone in the region can live in a home they can afford.

“Housing providers in Greater Manchester want to work with the new mayor to grow the local economy, invest in infrastructure, create jobs and deliver vital affordable housing where it is needed most.

“The new Government sees us as key players in solving the housing crisis. Now’s the time for us to work together and get on with the job at hand.”

New research for the NHF has identified housing as a top priority for voters in Greater Manchester, where it says there has also been a distinct move away from traditional NIMBY attitudes towards housebuilding.

It claims 40% of voters in the city region believe the new mayor should prioritise plans for new housing in the first 100 days of office. The NHF has found that public support for more affordable homes in the North West is now as strong as in London.

Greater Manchester’s new mayor will assume new powers relating to housing, planning and infrastructure. He or she will also have the chance to champion housing policy and seek further devolution of funding and flexibilities from central Government.

The public campaign will call on all six mayoral candidates to sign up and pledge their support for everyone in Greater Manchester to live in a home they can afford.

The need for affordable housing in this area has never been greater, according to the NHF. Local people now need a pay rise of 57% just to afford an 80% mortgage on a typical home in the area.

The public campaign is asking the mayoral candidates and local politicians to commit to working with the sector to tackle the region’s housing crisis.

A series of public events will run during March to showcase how local housing providers are building homes, creating jobs and boosting the wellbeing of people across Greater Manchester.

Between them, they own and manage a quarter of a million homes across Greater Manchester and one in every five in the city region.

They built over a third of all new housing stock in the area between 2011 and 2015 (more than 8,000 new homes) and have clear ambitions to work with the new Mayor to deliver even more.

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