Press release

Manchester’s innovative housing investment fund gets green light

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The contract has been signed for a new joint venture company – Matrix Homes – that will establish Manchester’s pioneering housing investment model in a first of its kind partnership.

The housing investment fund – a joint partnership between Manchester city council, Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) – is a new and innovative approach intended to boost home building in the city.

The development model uses available land owned by Manchester city council, including a site invested by the HCA, while an investor – in this case the Greater Manchester Pension Fund – finances the build. 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.

A tenure mix across 5 separate sites has been developed to ensure each location fits in to the property requirement for the local area – including owner occupation and private rented properties.

Matrix Homes includes the contractor Wates Living Space, with GVA providing technical advice, who will build the homes; Plumlife, who will be responsible for sale and marketing the for sale properties; and Places for People who will act as agent and manage the rental properties.

Works on the first sites will begin in May. Pozzoni are the architects for the development.

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. I’m proud the Greater Manchester Pension Fund is willing to invest in the construction of much-needed homes across the county while also securing a good return for our members’ pensions. It’s great to see that the fund is able to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in new homes that are so clearly needed in Manchester.

Deborah McLaughlin, North West Executive Director at the HCA, said:

We’re combining our public land assets to accelerate the construction of much-needed affordable homes and create jobs. We’ll see more than 240 new homes built for sale and rent that will be well designed and will provide people across the city with a real choice of a decent home. This is just the start and there’s huge potential to attract major investment to the city. Well done to everyone involved in this innovative partnership!

Housing Investment Model sites:

  • Former Oakwood, Darley Avenue, Chorlton Park – 97 units (58 for sale, 39 market rent)
  • Former Ossington Court, Hawkswick Drive, Northern Moor – 29 units (14 for sale, 15 market rent)
  • Former Woodwise Nursery, off Woodwise Lane, Brooklands – 18 units for sale
  • Off Clowes Street, West Gorton, Ardwick – 29 units (10 for sale, 19 market rent)
  • Gorton Monastery, off Gorton Lane, Gorton North – 67 units (21 for sale, 46 market rent)