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Greater Manchester backs Co-op and Community led Housing

20/08/2018

Have you ever thought about setting up your own housing Co-op? Do you know anyone who might? This could be an exciting opportunity for you, your friends and colleagues to build your own property in Greater Manchester for community-led housing.

GM Housing, Planning and Homelessness portfolio lead Paul Dennett thinks that co-operative housing is one way to solve Manchester’s housing crisis, and meet the Combined Authorities target of 227,000 homes over the next 20 years.

He has commissioned a network of experienced advisors to who will provide direct support to groups ready to develop homes and accelerate the delivery of co-operative and community-led housing in Greater Manchester.  The network is now up and running and seeking out groups of people and not-for-profit organisations who can help create the better, more affordable homes needed across the city-region. 

Community-led housing can provide additional and affordable housing supply; mobilise popular support for new homes; help diversify the house building industry and provide choice for older people.

Project Manager, Jo Bird, said, “We want to hear from groups of people and not-for-profit organisations interested in new build, renovation or the use of existing buildings. We are very excited to help these groups plan their homes, and have partnerships with Homes England and the GMCA’s Housing Investment Fund which is able to provide funding.

“The project offers tailored, professional support to co-operative and community-led housing groups ready to develop homes. For example we can help with finding property and land, democratic decision making, peer support, business planning, access to finance, negotiate competitive pricing with a wide network of professional service providers and Community Housing Fund advice.”

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett, who leads housing policy across Greater Manchester said: “Co-operative and community-led housing is a way for local people to play a leading and lasting role in solving housing problems, creating genuinely affordable homes and strong communities in ways that are difficult to achieve through the mainstream housing market.”

“There are already some great examples of community-led housing in Greater Manchester – such as Avro Hollows tenant management organisation in Newton Heath, Homes for Change in Hulme, New Longsight housing co-op, Windsor Albion and New Barracks in Salford.  I hope that groups from across Greater Manchester will get involved in this exciting and innovate project that we’re proud to support. ”

The core principles of Community-Led Housing are:

  1. Meaningful community engagement and consent;
  2. The local community owns, manages or stewards the homes; and
  3. Community benefits of the scheme are legally protected forever through an asset lock.

The GMCA’s Housing Investment Fund is supporting this project, working with local and national partners.  The fund can provide development debt finance to support co-operative and community-led housing in Greater Manchester.

The GMCA is working in partnership with Homes England, who have recently announced a Community Housing Fund, that will provide grant funding to groups for revenue costs (including professional fees, feasibility work and design work) in phase 1 (open now for applications) and project specific build costs in phase 2  (open to applications later this year). 

To access information and support from the project, please complete the quick form at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GMCLHousing

Project partners include:

North West Housing Services (NWHS)

Irwell Valley Housing Association (IVHA)

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Housing Investment Fund

Homes England