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The Manchester paradox

Manchester has a housing boom and a homelessness crisis at the same time—and it has George Osborne to thank for both

Up-and-coming areas of Ancoats (L) and shoppers pass rough sleepers in Piccadilly Gardens. Photos: Joel Goodman

It is the great Manchester paradox. In the past few years, the self-styled capital of the north has become renowned for its residential boom—cranes, concrete and steel fusing in the air at a breathtaking pace; thousands of new flats crowding into the Victorian gridlines of its city centre. But it has also become notorious for a serious homelessness problem. At street level, the piles of sleeping bags come into sight the moment you…

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