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New homeless households outnumber new social homes by six to one

National Housing Federation analysis of the latest affordable housing figures and homelessness statistics has found that for every new social home built in England last year (2022/23), six households were accepted as homeless by their local council.

Government figures show that 52,800 households were accepted by their local council as homeless last year (2022/23) including 30,300 families with children – this equates to 145 households and 88 families every day. There was a net total of 9,561 additional social rent homes last year, including acquisitions, a figure that has fallen by a staggering 76% since 2010. Social rented homes are typically 50% of market rents and the only homes affordable to homeless families.

For more details go to: National Housing Federation - New homeless households outnumber new social homes by six to one.

Manchester mayor launches Good Landlord Charter consultation

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham launched a consultation on the Greater Manchester Good Landlord Charter – the first of its kind in the UK which aims to bring landlords and renters together to improve the standards of homes in social housing and the private rented sector. The consultation closed on 26 February and responses are now being analysed.

The charter also aims to recognise and develop best practice, boost tenant confidence in the quality of good rental properties and provide a new voluntary standard for landlord excellence, no matter what kind of housing they let.

The Good Landlord Charter sets out a vision of better renting, which meets the following characteristics:

  • Affordable – a tenant should understand how their rent and other charges are set and should not be ripped-off.
  • Inclusive – a tenant should not have a worse renting experience because of who they are.
  • Private and secure – a tenant should be reasonably free to enjoy their home and make it their own.
  • Responsive – a landlord should respond satisfactorily to requests for repairs, correspondence and complaints.
  • Safe and decent – a tenant should be able to live free from physical or psychological discomfort in their home.
  • Supportive – a tenant should have essential information about renting their home and be helped to access extra support if they need it.
  • Well managed – a landlord should be competent or use a competent managing agent.

For more information on the development of the Good Landlord Charter and to view supporting documents go to: Good Landlord Charter - Greater Manchester Combined Authority (

Renters Reform Bill

The implementation of the Renters Reform Bill is aimed at improving the rental system for both the 11 million private renters and the 2.3 million landlords in England.

Key changes are:

  • Abolish Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions: to transition towards a simplified tenancy structure where all assured tenancies become periodic.
  • More comprehensive possession grounds: landlords will retain the ability to reclaim their property under valid circumstances, and the repossession processes will be streamlined in cases where tenants are at fault.
  • Private rented sector Ombudsman: a new impartial and binding resolution platform to address any issues, designed to be quicker, more cost effective and less adversarial than the court system.
  • Privately Rented Property Portal: landlords, tenants and councils will gain access to a user-friendly platform with various resources, including legal obligations, tenancy information and areas of potential enforcement.
  • Protection against backdoor eviction: tenants can appeal excessive rent hikes, but landlords can still increase rents with review from an independent tribunal.
  • Right to request a pet: landlords must consider and reasonably evaluate tenant requests to have pets in the property but can request pet insurances to cover potential damages.
  • Extending decent homes standard to PRS: Introduction of minimum housing standards requiring privately rented homes to meet the decent home standard.
  • Outlawing blanket ban on families and tenants on benefits: landlords and letting agents will be banned from discriminating against these groups and will not be able to specify “No DSS” in adverts.
  • New enforcement duties and powers to Councils: Strengthen local council’s enforcement power and introduce a new requirement for councils to report on enforcement activity – to help target criminal landlords.

For more information on the Renters (reform) Bill go to: Guide to the Renters (Reform) Bill - GOV.UK (

Places for Everyone

Places for Everyone (PfE) is a long-term plan of nine Greater Manchester districts for jobs, new homes and sustainable growth.

The plan is a joint development plan of the nine districts which will determine the kind of development that takes place in their boroughs, maximising the use of brownfield land and urban spaces while protecting green belt land from the risk of unplanned development.

Bury site allocations, all sites to deliver 25% affordable housing:

  • Heywood / Pilsworth – 200 homes at Castle Road.
  • Simister / Bowlee – 1,350 homes.
  • Elton reservoir – 3,500 homes total (60% affordable or social rented and 40% affordable home ownership).
  • Seedfield – 140 homes.
  • Walshaw – 1,250 homes (60% affordable or social rented and 40% affordable home ownership).

The Inspectors’ Report was received on 14 February 2024 and this marked the end of the examination into the Plan. The Inspectors conclude that, subject to the main modifications recommended, the Places for Everyone is considered to be sound and legally compliant.

All nine Councils have now considered the Inspectors’ recommendations and have adopted PfE with effect from 21 March 2024. This means that the Plan is now part of the statutory development plan for each of the nine PfE authorities and has full weight in the determination of planning applications.

For more information go to: Places for Everyone - Bury Council.

Delivering New Homes on Council Owned Brownfield Land

Bury Council is committed to achieving material housing outcomes through land disposal activity to ensure its land is used for the benefit of the borough. The Council has worked collaboratively with Homes England and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to ensure development is supported, where necessary, by grant funding to address viability concerns prior to disposal.

Considerable progress has been made with the delivery of the Council’s Land Disposal Programme. The sites listed in the table below have the potential to deliver over 1,000 new homes (both market and affordable) and will offer a wide range of house types and tenures, including specialist accommodation for older people and those with additional support needs.

Housing Sites

Number of Homes Planned

School Street, Radcliffe

89 Homes

East Lancashire Paper Mill, Radcliffe

400 Homes

Green Street, Radcliffe

132 Homes

Seedfield, Bury

84 Homes

William Kemp Heaton, Bury

43 Homes

Wheatfields, Whitefield

30 Homes

Willow Street, Bury

13 Homes

Fletcher Fold, Bury


Whittaker Street, Radcliffe


Pyramid Park, Bury


The Elms, Whitefield


Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is used to calculate the maximum amount people renting from a private landlord can claim in housing benefit or universal credit. LHA will increase on 1 April 2024 for the first time since 31 March 2020.

(applies to properties to the north of the M60/M62 motorway. This includes addresses in Bury, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom, Tottington and most of Whitefield.)


1 bed shared

1 bed

2 bed

3 bed


Previous rate












(applies to properties to the south of the M60/M62 motorway. This area covers addresses in Prestwich and a small part of Whitefield.)


1 bed shared

1 bed

2 bed

3 bed


Previous rate













Line graph showing average private rent in Bury compared with LHA 2024-2025
Average private rent in Bury compared with LHA 2024/25

House Prices and Mortgage Rates

The housing market in 2023 performed better than many predicted, with lower-than-expected falls in asking prices, and good levels of demand from home buyers for the right-priced homes. However, rising mortgage and interest rates have stretched the affordability of many people planning to move.

The housing market is continuing to return to more normal levels of activity following the frenetic post-pandemic period. It is predicted that average new seller prices will be 1% lower nationally by the end of 2024, as competition increases among new sellers to find a buyer.

The table below shows that Bury had the fourth highest average house prices in Greater Manchester during 2023:


Average house sale prices in Greater Manchester as of December 2023

All properties


Semi Detached


Flats / Maisonettes

Greater Manchester


































































Average mortgage rates have fallen steadily since July 2023, providing home-movers with much more stability and certainty over the type and cost of mortgage offer they are likely to receive, compared with the more volatile mortgage market of a year ago. According to Rightmove, the average two-year fixed mortgage rate is currently 5.4%, while the average five-year fixed rate is 5.07%.

For more information on what will happen to house prices in 2024 go to: What will happen to house prices in 2024? | Property blog (

Bury housing leads see new Whitefield homes taking shape

The first new homes at one of Whitefield’s latest residential developments are starting to take shape, as Bury Council’s housing leads observed on a recent site visit.

Wheatfields, a development of 30 affordable homes on the former site of the Wheatfields Day Centre in Whitefield, is being built by Greater Manchester contractor John Southworth on behalf of leading North West housing association Onward Homes in partnership with Bury Council.

This month, Cllr Clare Cummins, Cabinet Member for Housing Services, was joined by Bury’s Unit Manager – Housing Strategy, Policy & Performance, Jackie Summerscales, to tour the construction site where John Southworth began work in June 2023.

Through the use of modern construction methods, including sustainable timber-frame systems, John Southworth and Onward are on track to deliver a show home at Wheatfields by summer 2024, with the entire development expected to complete in autumn 2024.

Onward received brownfield funding from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to help progress the development, which will predominantly be funded through Onward’s Strategic Partnership with Homes England. Onward plans to build 5,000 new homes by 2030, with 2,103 being delivered directly through the Partnership.

Working closely with Bury Council to address local housing need, Onward will ultimately market 14 of the new homes for shared ownership, while 16 will be made available at affordable rents capped at Local Housing Allowance rates. Once completed, Bury Council will manage the nominations and allocations process for all affordable rent homes at Wheatfields in perpetuity.

Councillor Clare Cummins, cabinet member for housing services at Bury Council, said:

“We are pleased to see another brownfield site in Bury being brought back into use for the local community, while improving the quality and choice of affordable housing in the area."

“Bury Council has worked extensively with Onward to ensure the right housing mix at Wheatfields, including more affordable ways for local people to get on the housing ladder."

“We will continue to work closely with local housing providers to ensure Bury’s existing residents are prioritised to benefit from any new residential development in the borough.”

The Council is currently managing the disposal of several other brownfield sites across the borough and anticipate the delivery of 366 new affordable homes over the next few years."

Sandy Livingstone, executive director of property at Onward said:

“Bury Council has been extremely supportive and collaborative in our work on Wheatfields, so it was immensely satisfying to demonstrate our progress on site. Partnership working with Bury Council and our contractor John Southworth will be crucial to ensure our local community continues to benefit from our work, throughout and far beyond the construction phase."

“While we continue to invest in new homes to meet a growing demand in Bury, we will also invest far more into our existing 1,200 homes in the area over the coming years. We aim to provide customers with homes that are affordable to rent or buy, and to live in.”

John Southworth is an award-winning domestic and commercial construction company, a family business with over thirty years’ experience delivering modern, innovative, high-quality homes across the North West.

Steven Brown, managing director of John Southworth said:

“We are delighted to be developing new homes in Bury and bringing life to thIS brownfield site, building homes that people will be proud to call home. We are committed to building and contributing to communities and delivering a social return on investment, bringing added values to areas.”

About Onward Homes

Onward Homes is one of the largest registered providers of social housing in the North West, owning and managing 35,000 homes across Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire & Greater Manchester. Onward has G1 (governance) and V2 (financial) ratings from the Regulator of Social Housing and has a credit rating of A1 (Stable) from Moodys.

Onward is a Strategic Partner of Homes England and plans to invest £600m to build 5,000 new homes by 2030.

Our experience and presence across the region enables us to actively engage with residents and we are passionate about making a real, positive impact on their quality of life. For more information about Onward, visit: Onward Homes.

Published Bury Housing Strategy will deliver a balanced and diverse housing supply

Following a period of extensive consultation earlier in the year, Bury Housing Strategy has now been finalised and published.

The new strategy sets out the scale of housing issues and challenges facing the borough. It also provides a clear direction of travel to deliver a balanced and diverse housing supply and an opportunity to create successful and inclusive neighbourhoods that everyone can be proud of.

Covering the key aspects of affordability, supply and quality of housing in the borough, the strategy will drive improvements to people's health and wellbeing and reduce gaps in healthy life expectancy.

Find out more on the Bury Housing Strategy.

Joint bid to improve the energy performance of social housing across Bury

Bury Council and Six Town Housing are working together to apply to the government's Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund. This is part of a joint bid made through Greater Manchester Combined Authority with other regional social housing providers.

If successful, the bid will benefit around 100 homes identified as in most need of improvement. It will also support Bury Housing Strategy commitments around energy efficiency and help towards our target to be carbon neutral by 2038.

Find out more about the bid for decarbonisation funding on the Six Town Housing website.

Brownfield first - our plan for new houses and regeneration

Plans have recently been unveiled to develop brownfield sites and bring much-needed homes and regeneration across Bury.

Our major projects team is co-ordinating a borough-wide brownfield housing delivery programme that prioritises previously developed land suitable for residential development. This allows us to match local housing needs with investment opportunities and accelerate the development of new local homes.

Nearly 100 acres of land has been identified which, subject to planning permission and viability, could accommodate thousands of new homes.

Read the full article about the Brownfield first - our plan for new houses and regeneration on My Newsdesk.

New affordable homes on a brownfield site in the heart of Whitefield

As part of our brownfield housing delivery programmed, thirty affordable homes will be built on the derelict spot of the former Wheatfields Day Care Centre in Victoria Avenue, Whitefield.

We have agreed to dispose of the brownfield site to Onward Homes who will build a mixture of houses for affordable rent, shared ownership family homes, and accessible bungalows specifically for older people and people with disabilities.

Read the full article about the new affordable homes on a brownfield site in the heart of Whitefield on My Newsdesk.

Family and affordable homes at the heart of Radcliffe Regeneration

Plans are being drawn up to build 89 new family homes on a brownfield site in Radcliffe as part of the town's regeneration.

Bury Council is set to approve the sale of land at School Street, formerly the site of a grammar school, to North West housebuilder Hive Homes. The development is proposed to be 89 family homes, with 22 of them affordable. It is expected that these homes will be a mix of affordable rent and shared ownership.

Read the full article about the family and affordable homes at the heart of Radcliffe regeneration on My Newsdesk.

Affordable housing for key Radcliffe gateway site

More new affordable homes are to be built in the heart of Radcliffe and helping to drive forward the regeneration of the town centre.

The proposal is to redevelop the site of the former leisure centre in Green Street to deliver 133 new homes, of which 75 percent will be affordable. The plans also include a standalone private rented block and a mixed-use commercial building for new offices and ground floor retail/food and beverage units.

Read the full article about the affordable housing for key Radcliffe gateway site on My Newsdesk.

Radcliffe Regeneration Office open for visitors

A new Radcliffe Regeneration Office has opened at 4 Dale Street where businesses and residents can find out about the exciting plans to transform the town centre.

Bury Council project officers are on hand to answer questions and talk through the wide-ranging plans which form part of the Radcliffe Strategic Regeneration Framework.

Read more on Radcliffe Regeneration.

Prioritising bringing empty properties back into use

As another sustainable approach to increasing affordable housing in the borough, we are also prioritising bringing empty properties back into use.

A new Empty Property Strategy is in development, and we have recently employed a dedicated Empty Homes Officer to help increase the supply of homes for occupation across the borough. Our new Empty Homes Officer will work with our Private Sector Enforcement Team who deal with complaints and take a pro-active approach to bringing empty properties back into use.

The review of our Empty Property Strategy will also allow us to better understand the empty property situation across the borough and what needs to be done to provide the right opportunities for owners to bring their properties back into use.

More information is available on our empty homes section.