“If you listen to the media we are having a boom, this is great news. The Daily Mail is telling people from down south to put their money into Manchester. The local press are trumpeting a Chinese style building boom.
I found this really interesting because I thought we were having a housing crisis not a housing boom.”
Dr Jonathan Silver, Sheffield University
Facing this contradiction, Dr Silver investigated the housing boom/crisis in Manchester. He presented his research at an event held by Greater Manchester Housing Action on the 19 July.
His research reveals that the boom is fuelled by foreign investment, paying little tax in this country. He argues that Manchester City Council is deeply involved, and its strategy of building for the private rented sector is deliberate:
“This is the model Manchester City Council want. They don’t want social housing or public housing, they don’t even want housing for people to buy even if they could afford it.”
He says Manchester City Council (MCC) are refusing to answer the questions he has asked, that the people of Manchester have a right to know.
A spokesperson from Greater Manchester Housing Action (GMHA) agreed:
“The lack of transparency is appalling. The council needs to show how any of this is in the interests of the people they were elected to represent.
There are many questions to be answered, and MCC can be sure that will be asked with increasing frequency as Mancunians wake up to what is going on.”
To those concerned about housing, and those who assume MCC and Manchester Labour are working in the best interest of local people, the report in The Meteor is fascinating and worth reading.
Picture: another central Manchester landmark being demolished: July 2017.