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Manchester council pension fund signs groundbreaking house building scheme

25 September 2012

Image for Manchester council pension fund signs groundbreaking house building scheme

The Greater Manchester Pension Fund has signed a deal with town hall chiefs that will see £25m of pension cash fund house building in a bid to revitalise the region's ailing housing market.

The unique scheme – the first of its kind in the country – will see more than 240 new homes built in Manchester.

According to Deborah Linton at the Manchester Evening News, the council has signed up to a partnership with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the government's housing arm; the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

The scheme was first announced earlier this year when the council announced plans for more affordable housing. As the local authority will take an equity share in the homes they will make them cheaper to buyers.

If the house building programme is successful it could be extended to more parts of the city and perhaps work as a blueprint for similar schemes in other parts of the country.

Talking to the Manchester Evening News, Kieran Quinn, chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said: "I'm proud that we are able to use the pension fund to invest in the building of much needed homes in Greater Manchester whilst securing a good return to fund the pensions of the workforce."

Council deputy leader Jim Battle said: "The economic climate has severely slowed homebuilding in recent years and levels of development are not keeping up with the city's demand.

"This new innovative model tackles these issues, pushing forward development opportunities while ensuring a supply of new attractive homes are available to residents at affordable prices."

Deborah McLaughlin, the HCA north west executive director, said: "This is great news for Manchester. In the current economic climate, innovative funding models will play a fundamental role in supporting the delivery of much needed affordable homes for local people."