Manchester housing plans to prioritise 'most vulnerable'

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image copyrightGMP
image captionNew social housing rules will help "those who need it most", a councillor said

An overhaul of social housing policy to prioritise Manchester's "most vulnerable" residents for rehousing has been approved by the city council.

Under the new rules, homeless people and those living in overcrowded homes will be helped first.

People living in Manchester less than two years and homeowners will be banned from the social housing register.

Councillor Suzanne Richards said the move would help "those who need it most". 

Manchester has more than 65,000 social rent homes - about 30% of all housing stock in the city.

By law, the council must agree the rules around who qualifies to be put on the housing register and how they are prioritised to receive a social home.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reports the saving limit for applicants has been reduced from £75,000 to £30,000 under the new rules.

'Unsustainable strain'

"The housing landscape in the city has changed a lot in the last few years due to a range of factors, including welfare reform and increasing private rents," housing executive member Ms Richards said.

"This means demand for social housing is going up, while we continue to lose stock through Right To Buy.

"It's important we react to changing factors to ensure social housing can be accessed by those who need it most."

She said people presenting themselves as homeless had "increased massively in the past few years, putting an unsustainable strain on temporary accommodation".

"It is right therefore that we can support these residents more effectively with improved access to social housing."

Liberal Democrat John Leech expressed concerns over exclusions to people who had been placed outside of the borough in temporary accommodation.

But councillor Sue Murphy said anyone in that situation whose case had been handled by the city council would still be able to stay on the Manchester register.

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