£50 million in funding will go towards upgrading and improving social housing in Manchester over the next two years.
Manchester City Council has revealed this week that thousands of tenants living in social housing and Council-owned residential complexes across the city and wider borough are set to receive what is being dubbed “transformational investment” to their homes before 2026.
More than 2,000 homes within Manchester will be improved, the Council has confirmed.
£47 million of funding has been approved to improve more than 2,000 homes through a range of works – from new bathrooms, kitchens, and boilers, to rewiring, new doors, and adaptations for disabled residents.
£5 million will be used to “enhance safety” across 12 high rise blocks, while £2 million of the fund has been earmarked for “essential adaptations” to make sure the needs of residents with accessibility requirements are met so they can live in their homes independently for longer.
The funding will also help install 110 ground or air source heat pumps, and 67 solar panels too.
These improvement works are part of what the Council has called its “ongoing commitment” to ensure the properties it owns meet “decent homes standards” and improve conditions for social housing tenants.
From early 2024, the Council’s Housing Services team will start to develop a five-year programme of home and estate improvements, which will be supported by a condition survey of all 12,500 Council-owned homes in the city in an bid to help “inform and prioritise” any improvement works required and deliver the “best possible service” for tenants.
This comes after the Housing Services team recently began the process of tackling a backlog of repairs that were “exacerbated by the delays caused by COVID-19,” according to the Council.
Cllr Gavin White called this “one of the biggest investments in Council-owned homes in many years”.
Speaking as the £50 million funding was announced, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and development said: “This is a clear commitment to our residents to deliver a social housing sector that our tenants can trust, and homes they can be proud to live in.
The Irish star, who just landed his first UK number one album, wants to make customers ‘feel like a big deal’, apparently.
And seeing as he shot to fame with his viral flashmob stunts, he seems like a good choice to be popping up from behind Amazon lockers as people pick up their online shop.
Cian Ducrot comments: “My flash mob performances are all about spreading joy and music, and I loved helping shoppers feel like a big deal at the Amazon Lockers.”
Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Day sales event, which is taking place on 10 and 11 October 2023, will also see the brand hide hundreds of items in Amazon Lockers around the UK.
Over those two days, Prime members who are collecting shopping will be given the opportunity to pick a code, which will open a locker containing a free item to take away.
Surprise locker locations will be in London, Cardiff, Liverpool, Newcastle, Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester on 10 and 11 October.
The giveaway runs alongside a Prime member exclusive shopping event, featuring deals on everything Prime members need for Autumn, from making an early start to festive shopping, to stocking up on seasonal essentials.
Council Tax in Manchester could be raised to support the city’s ‘poorest households’
Manchester City Council has laid out plans to potentially raise residents’ Council Tax to help support the “poorest households” in the city.
Councillors are proposing that, under the city’s current Council Tax Support scheme, the amount owed by a household is reduced by up to 100% for pension-age residents with the lowest incomes, and up to 82.5% for working-age residents with the lowest incomes from April 2024 – with the maximum reduction for working-age residents increased by 2.5% to 85%.
This means the maximum that those eligible for support would have to pay is just 15% of the bill, according to Manchester City Council.
At the same time, it’s being proposed that rules allowing reductions to be backdated, in instances where someone “has a good reason not to have claimed sooner”, are extended to allow up to a year’s back payments, rather than up to six months as is currently the case.
With the proposals all laid out, a consultation has been opened and residents living in the Manchester borough are now being asked for their views.
The Council Tax Support scheme currently provides around one fifth of Manchester households with help paying their Council Tax, but it’s estimated that these proposed changes would cost the Council around £770,000 in 2024/25.
This proposed raising of Council Tax also comes after the Council revealed earlier last month that £50 million in funding will go towards upgrading and improving social housing in Manchester over the next two years – with thousands of tenants living in social housing and Council-owned residential complexes across the city and wider borough set to benefit.
Residents in these properties are set receive what is being dubbed “transformational investment” to their homes before 2026.
“We are acutely aware that some residents are really struggling due to cost of living pressures,” admitted Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar, who is the Executive Member for Finance at Manchester City Council on the proposals, “and this is why we’ve already introduced a range of measures to help people access food, advice and support.
“As part of this wider response, we want to go even further to help the poorest households in Manchester with their Council Tax, and that’s what these proposals are all about.
“We’re keen to hear your views on what we’re suggesting before we make a final decision.”