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Council, HCA and pension fund seal "first of its kind" housing investment fund

A contract for a housing investment fund – said to be the first of its kind – has been signed by Manchester City Council, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and the Homes & Communities Agency.

The development model will use land from the local authority and the HCA, while the pension fund will finance the build.

A new joint venture company, Matrix Homes, will be set up to deliver 240 new homes for sale and rent. Wates Living Space is the building contractor, Plumlife will be responsible for sale and marketing the for sale properties, and Places for People will act as agent and manage the rental properties.

In a statement the city council said a tenure mix across the five sites would ensure each location fitted in to the property requirement of the local area – “including owner occupation and private rented properties”.

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It added: “The aim is to stimulate home building, while reducing the usual risks associated with a development – minimising the overheads for a contractor, who will also have no sales risk.”

Work on the first sites will begin in May.

Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s executive member for housing and regeneration, said: “This is a momentous day and a hugely significant milestone in what has been an innovative and ambitious approach to home building – and the joint venture company, Matrix Homes, is the end product of a huge amount of work that has made sure the project is viable.

“Manchester’s housing investment fund is the first of its kind model to boost home building and we hope its success will lead to larger home building projects in the future.”

Cllr Kieran Quinn, Chair of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, said: "The current economic climate has seen home building slow down to an almost standstill, with levels of development not keeping up with the demand throughout Greater Manchester.

“This new innovative model tackles these issues by promoting development opportunities while at the same time ensuring new attractive, affordable homes are available for our residents.”

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