Affordable housing that is easy to understand
Article provided by Manchester City Council
Manchester City Council has announced a new rent level called the Manchester Living Rent as a way to make sure more homes are affordable to Manchester people. The Manchester Living Rent (MLR) is a rent level that people on housing benefit can access, meaning new housing – regardless of where it is built – will be affordable to anyone in the city. This level of rent will be capped at the Local Housing Allowance level (or LHA). The LHA is the rent level set by the Government that will cover a person’s rent if they are on housing benefit or Universal Credit.
The MLR is also cheaper to residents than the standard Government definition of Affordable Housing – or 80% of market value for a particular area.
By pricing new homes at this rent level, the Council can ensure that new housing can be accessed by as many people as possible – particularly those households on lower incomes. The Council’s home building company, This City has already made a commitment that at least 20% of all the homes built by the company will be set at the MLR. And most Registered Providers and Housing Associations already cap their affordable homes at the MLR to ensure people on housing benefit can access their properties.
However, the ambition is that all Registered Providers and Housing Associations sign up to the MLR movement, as well as developers making a commitment to the Manchester Living Rent to improve access to affordable housing for Manchester residents.
Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said of the new Manchester Living Rent: “I grew up in Council housing, my family still rely on it. I know first-hand the security that affordable housing can bring. This is something we care deeply about and something we are committed to improving in the city.
“We should and will do anything in our gift to bring homes to Manchester people that they need – and in places they want to live. Making sure we have the right kinds and supply of housing is vital to a successful city, including low-cost options.
“The Manchester Living Rent is important in that it creates a level playing field in housing affordability. It means that regardless of where the home is in the city, it can be affordable to anybody. It’s a clear and straightforward way of describing what we mean – low-cost homes that people on a minimum wage can afford.”