Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has backed proposals for a GM-wide Ethical Lettings Agency (ELA) to help drive up standards in the private rented sector.

Housing associations and local authorities from across the region have joined forces to launch a new ELA later this year, which commits to providing an additional 800 affordable homes across the region within its first two years alone.

Speaking during a recent speech hosted by the Fabian Society, the Mayor outlined a host of measures that demonstrate how Greater Manchester is leading the way in proposing the most comprehensive package of action to tackle the housing crisis and homelessness, which included the launch of the new ELA.

Mr Burnham said: “It is absolutely necessary for everyone to have a good home. We need to make sure we are building more homes and also that we are taking action to raise standards across the city-region so that the needs of all our residents are met.

“I’ve just recently announced our support for a city region-wide Ethical Lettings Agency, being set up by Greater Manchester’s Housing Providers.

“It will work alongside landlords to improve management standards and transfer the social landlord ethos to the private rented sector, focusing on sustainable tenancies and not profit.

“The purpose is to open up the private rented sector to those who are excluded for reasons such as low income, high up-front costs, benefits or poor credit history.”

It’s anticipated the new ELA will not only improve standards in the private rented sector, but will also give the region’s 10 local authorities new options in addressing housing waiting lists.

Jonathan Drake, is the chair of the new ELA, as well as service director at Salix Living, the private sector leasing arm of Salix Homes based in Salford. He said: “We’re excited to work with our housing partners from across GM to launch this new ELA, using our expertise in social housing to provide good quality, affordable accommodation in the private rented sector to those in housing need.

“The model is simple – a social lettings agency that leases and manages properties on behalf of private landlords at LHA rates.

“Everyone deserves a place to call home, but with thousands of people stuck on housing waiting lists, the housing crisis is growing – and this new ELA will play a key role in providing a solution.”

Proposals for the new ELA are still being finalised and it’s expected to launch later this year.

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