Home Recent Landlord News Housing Association selling off property on Rightmove while homelessness soars

Housing Association selling off property on Rightmove while homelessness soars

social-housing-british-landlord-association-latest-the-BLA-2018Fury from Councillors and housing campaigners as one of the Manchester’s biggest housing associations is selling off terrace houses to private landlords because it is ‘not economical’ to do them up.

Social housing is being sold off to investors through Rightmove because housing associations don’t want to spend money refurbishing the homes.

One association Jigsaw, has sold off of homes to the private rental sector in the last three years, arguing nobody else wants them and it is ‘not economical’ to do them up itself.

The sell off includes houses in Moss Side, where housing charity Shelter has warns no-fault evictions are on the rise. Shelter has said, more and more people in the area cannot afford private rents.

Jigsaw, which took over Manchester housing association Adactus earlier this year, says it is using proceeds from the sales to build more homes for rent. But none of them are in the south Manchester neighbourhoods where many of the sell-offs have taken place.

Some of its former properties are believed to have ended up on Air BnB not long after their sale, or placed back on the market at a mark-up shortly after being refurbished.

Manchester currently has a 5,000-families on the waiting list for urgent social housing. The number of families living in bed and breakfasts has tripled in five years.

Jigsaw Homes Housing association who own around 4,000 homes in the Manchester and is one of the largest housing associations in the north west.  Jigsaw considers it poor value to refurbish some of its housing stock.

Last week campaigners discovered it was advertising two terraces in Moss Side for sale on Rightmove.

One, on Seedley Street, was listed as a ‘mid terrace property in a popular location’ for £97,000. A second, a two-bed on Leslie Street, was on for the same price.

It was only after the council and campaigners raised concerns, the homes were removed from the website.

Another Adactus-owned three-bed terrace on Ashton New Road in Clayton had also been listed on Rightmove last week for just under £100,000, but that has also since been taken off.

Manchester Tenant’s Union has also found multiple cases of homes previously sold by the housing association now being rented out as private lets, including a now-expired Air BnB advert for an ex-Adactus home on Ruskin Avenue in Moss Side.

It also been revealed that the former Adactus houses in Longsight is being marketed as lettings to Chinese students.

When Jigsaw was asked about its Portfolio and the properties being sold off, Jigsaw said all the houses it had listed for sale on the open market have now been removed.

Jigsaw Homes – owner of around 4,000 homes in the city and one of the largest housing associations in the north west – is one of those to pursue such a policy when it considers it poor value to refurbish the property in question.

Last week campaigners discovered it was advertising two terraces in Moss Side for sale on Rightmove.

One, on Seedley Street, was listed as a ‘mid terrace property in a popular location’ for £97,000. A second, a two-bed on Leslie Street, was on for the same price.

After the council and campaigners raised concerns, the homes were removed from the website.

Another Adactus-owned three-bed terrace on Ashton New Road in Clayton had also been listed on Rightmove last week for just under £100,000, but that has also since been taken off.

Manchester Tenant’s Union has also found multiple cases of homes previously sold by the housing association now being rented out as private lets, including a now-expired Air BnB advert for an ex-Adactus home on Ruskin Avenue in Moss Side.

It also found former Adactus houses in Longsight being marketed as lettings to Chinese students.

Asked about its sell-off policy, Jigsaw said all the houses it had listed for sale on the open market have now been removed.

Asked whether Manchester council was aware it had been selling some of those direct to private landlords, it said: “We adhere to the council’s disposals policy.”

Manchester council leader Sir Richard Leese said he was unaware of the strategy, however, adding that he was now raising the issue ‘urgently’. The council has suggested it could now look to buy the latest Moss Side properties for use as temporary accommodation for homeless families.

Mr Ben Clay, spokesman for the local Tenant’s Union and a Labour councillor for Burnage, said the organisation had been investigating reports of social housing being sold directly into the private rental sector for some time.

“When we discovered that Adactus socially-rented homes in Moss Side were being sold on directly to private landlords, we were appalled,” he said.

“Everyone we have spoken to in the local community has been disappointed with this behaviour, but not surprised.

“This increases transience and exacerbates the rises in rent in Moss Side, reducing the supply of homes to rent or buy for local families, with an interest in maintaining a settled community.

“But we know this has been going on in other parts of the city too.”

If a housing association such as Adactus had allowed its properties to become too dilapidated to refurbish, that was its own fault, he added.

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