Chapter 20 on Housing is now online

Read chapter 20 about Housing.


The 1984 Labour Manifesto for Manchester committed the Council to no council house rent increases until April 1986. When Sam Darby was Chair, the Housing Committee agreed to no rent increases for 1987/88, but this hadn’t been agreed by the full Labour Group, who overturned it. This was one of the issues that led to Sam Darby resigning as Chair of Housing and the Labour Group splits described in chapter 12. Dave Lunts took over as Chair, and then after Bob Young was dismissed from the post of Director of Housing in 1989 (see chapter 13), Bob King took on that responsibility as well as being City Architect.

The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 brought in requirements for the local authority to establish a Housing Revenue Account (HRA) that ring-fenced all housing income and expenditure, and prevented any subsidy to or from any other parts of the Council’s budget. In 1990 a mistake was made in the submission for the HRA subsidy, which meant a £14m loss. In 1993 Steve Mycio was promoted to Director of Housing and the Housing Committee combined with Environmental Health.

The process of transferring housing stock to housing associations was led by Claire Nangle, Deputy of the committee, who then became Chair in 1995, when Dave Lunt stepped down because of the conflict of interest of him working for the Housing Association that won the transfer deal. Under Claire Nangle’s leadership, pioneering work on probationary tenancies, led to senior housing officer Bill Pitt’s secondment to advise the 1997 Labour government, and the national introduction of ASBO legislation.

Further Reading

  • ‘Manchester powerhouse fears £280m HRA loss’ by Mark Lawrence for in Housing, 7th March 2016. History repeats itself! This article has a good explanation of the HRA issues much the same situation currently as described in this chapter.
  • Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (enacted)
  • Policy paper – ‘2010 to 2015 government policy: rented housing sector’ Updated 8 May 2015
  • ‘Systematic raiding of housing revenue accounts’, 20 June 2014, Inside Housing
  • ‘The end of council housing’, John Harris, 4 Jan 2016, Guardian
  • ‘The evolution of stock transfer housing associations’, Hal Pawson and Cathy Fancie, September 2003, Policy Press from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • ‘The homelessness monitor: England 2016’, Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Hal Pawson, Glen Bramley, Steve Wilcox and Beth Watts, January 2016, Crisis UK

Image Credits: Row of council houses Handforth CC-BY Mikey

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