Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

Research: Housing and Planning


The Planning and Housing team is responsible for providing a solid evidence base to help shape strategy and policy relating to planning and housing in Greater Manchester, striving to improve our population's housing and planning policies. Examples of this include:

  • Developing the evidence base for the Places for Everyone Joint Plan (previously known as the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework);
  • Managing and maintaining MappingGM; and
  • Providing timely statistics and evidence on Greater Manchester's housing market to inform policymakers.

This means that we work closely with the Planning Policy and Housing Strategy teams at the Combined Authority. 

About Our Team

Our aim as a team is to provide analysis and insight to ultimately improve housing standards in Greater Manchester and reduce inequalities.

Our Work 

The following section sets out some of our key projects, both past and ongoing. 

Joint Plan Evidence Base

Our team has provided research and public consultation support for Greater Manchester’s comprehensive evidence base to support planning policies since 2014 and in particular, proposals in the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework up to 2020. This evidence base remains the foundation for the Places for Everyone 2021 joint plan, which evolved, and was developed from the GMSF.

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF)

The GMSF was prepared on behalf of the city region's 10 local authorities, to plan for homes, jobs and the environment over the period of 2020-2037. The first draft of the GMSF in 2016 saw more than 27,000 residents in Greater Manchester provide feedback during the consultation. The second consultation took place in 2019, when more than 17,500 people, businesses and community organisations responded, and over 67,000 comments were submitted and analysed.

An evidence base forms the foundation for the plan. The Planning and Housing research team produced the following documents as part of the GMSF evidence base:

The full list of the GMSF evidence base can be viewed here.

Places for Everyone (PfE)

PfE is a long-term, joint plan of nine Greater Manchester districts (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan) for jobs, new homes, and sustainable growth. The plan is the result of a process that began as the GMSF in 2014 and has been informed by the feedback received from residents, businesses and the development industry to previous consultations on that Plan. The nine districts decided to continue to produce a joint plan following the withdrawal of Stockport Council from the GMSF in December 2020. The plan was submitted following further consultation and the resulting Examination in Public of all the evidence and the plan concluded in March 2023.

Our team have been fundamental in the research for the evidence base of PfE and its previous consultations/ examinations. We also played a key part in the build out and processing of the main modification consultation, which ran from 11 October to 6 December 2023. You can view more information about PfE and the main modification consultation on this website here

The Planning and Housing research team specifically helped to prepare the following documents as part of the PfE evidence base:

Good Landlord Charter (GLC)

Greater Manchester Leaders launched a process to develop a Good Landlord Charter for the city region in early 2023 – a pioneering new initiative to drive up housing standards, recognise good practices, and support tenants. A GLC will reaffirm Greater Manchester’s commitment to deliver safe, decent, and affordable housing for all residents, and acknowledge that housing is essential to people’s health and wellbeing.

Our team has provided research for the evidence base to develop the GLC. The GLC was out for public consultation from 8th January until 26th February 2024. You can find more information on the GLC by clicking the button below. 

Click here for more information on the Good Landlord Charter



MappingGM is a map of spatial data within Greater Manchester, presented on an interactive map. It was pioneered and is managed by our research team. MappingGM provides a range of maps that you can use to explore Greater Manchester’s housing, planning, environmental, infrastructure, socio-economic and demographic data.

The maps are open for you to use, and most of the data is updated continually as and when new data is released and is mostly freely available to download. For more information, and to view MappingGM, please click on the button below.

Click here to view MappingGM

Picture showing MappingGM overview

Interactive Housing Market Data - Coming Soon

The Greater Manchester Housing Market Monitor will be an interactive dashboard that features a number of key housing market data, such as the house prices in Greater Manchester, the number of houses built per year and more. The dashboard's aim is to assist the Housing Strategy team at the Combined Authority, so they can have quick and easy access to the housing market data that they need for their work. It will also be open to the public, and any feedback on the information and accessibility will be welcomed to ensure that it's as helpful and comprehensive as possible.

This dashboard will be updated continually as and when new data is released, and most of the data used is freely available to download. 

The dashboard is currently under construction. You will be able to access it by clicking the button below once it goes live in Spring 2024.

Coming Soon: Interactive Housing Market Data

Census Briefings 

The GMCA’s Research Team produce a series of topic briefings on the Census 2021 so that a range of audiences can understand the high-level messages and findings from the data as it is released. Our team produce briefings related to housing: you can view one about households here and, another about tenure here.

Other Census 2021 briefings that have been produced beyond our team can be viewed by using the button below.

Click here to view all Research Team Census 2021 Briefings

Private Rented Sector (PRS) Reports

Our team produce research reports about the private rented sector in Greater Manchester. In 2015, we produced this report which provides an overview of the PRS in Greater Manchester and focuses on the housing aspirations and PRS housing experiences of young professionals, and mid-income families living within the sector. Our most recent report will be published and linked here soon.


If you'd like any more information about our work, or have any questions then please contact us at: