When we opened our new Stoney Gate development in Openshaw, there was lots of interest from local residents who had been calling out for this kind of housing in their area.

We heard from three local Manchester City councillors of the Clayton and Openshaw ward, who gave us their thoughts on the new homes we've built in their area.

Councillors Andy Harland, Donna Ludford, and Sean McHale sat down to speak to us in the living room of a brand new three bedroom property, which has been designed with the most modern energy efficiency standards in mind.

"I work for Lucy Powell, the MP", explained Donna, "and so it came through quite a while ago that these were going to happen, and the excitement was like 'wow, houses coming to Openshaw', that's not been something heard of for a long time! So we were really excited about it and it got the backing of all the councillors and the MP. I think the proof is in the pudding of what we're here looking at"

Sean McHale expressed his surprise in the end product of the design, "I was surprised at the high quality of the build, the standard of it... the doors, the kitchen, the bathrooms. To have three bathrooms in a three bedroom house, I was shocked! I could have done with that."

"I think one of the main issues we'd come across in our local advice surgeries", said councillor Andy Harland, "was the amount of people asking for housing in the area. It's been a really big push and a positive message for the area."

"It's advancing the local environment as well, great transport networks and it links the whole ward together. It's ideal for people getting about".

One of the main issues identified by the councillors were around property and rent prices in the area. Sean told us:

"One of the problems I've faced when I've been doing my surgeries is people coming coming to me telling me their being made homeless because of hiked rents by private landlords. Suddenly they're changing and improving and the landlord issues a Section 21 and then they can put the rent up by £300-£400 per month, to £850 for substandard accommodation.

"I think that the Rent to Buy scheme really does make it accessible to a lot of young people that would struggle to get on the property ladder.

"I understand the costs here are incredibly low, so if you've got a £660 a month rent and incredibly low bills, then it's so easy isn't it? The area had been renowned as a poorer area, and now that there are people and jobs coming into the area, it's just going to improve the area overall".

If you'd like to find out more about our Rent to Buy properties, you can do so by checking out this page of our website.