Towering apartment blocks going up all over Manchester and Salford are evidence of a property investment boom underway in the midst of a housing crisis for many. Research has revealed that this boom is fueled by foreign investment capital channeled through layers of offshore holding companies that allow the lucky few involved to avoid paying tax in this country.
The buy to rent flats being built in high rise blocks will do little if anything to alleviate the housing crisis in Manchester. Manchester City Council (MCC) are deeply entwined in this intricate web of financialisation and refuse to answer questions that the people of Manchester have a right to know.
This was the disturbing picture of property development painted by Dr Jonathan Silver, of Sheffield University, when he presented his research at an event held by Greater Manchester Housing Action, called ‘Knowledge Is Power’, at the University of Manchester on the 19 July. One of the reasons Silver embarked on this research project was the confusing and often contradictory messages on housing he came across in the press. He says:
“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.”
The reports of the fortunes to be made in a thriving property development market in Manchester rub unpleasantly against the reports of homeless activists squatting in empty buildings and ever increasing levels of homelessness across Greater Manchester (GM). Silver described how the…
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