A strategic housing partnership in Greater Manchester has much to teach the rest of the country, says the National Housing Federation (NHF) chief executive, Kate Henderson.
Henderson heaped praise on the Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP), a consortium of 26 organisations, after being asked to speak at a recent meeting organised by group member, One Manchester.
GMHP was formed in 2012. Between its membership it packs quite an economic punch across the city region: it owns more than 250,000 affordable homes, has collectively built over 8,000 new homes over the last five years, employs over 28,000 people, and contributes £1.2 billion to Greater Manchester’s GVA.
At the event, Henderson heard about the GMHP’s relationship with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), and how the partnership anticipates the affect Brexit may have on housing in Greater Manchester. Meanwhile, she in turn gave updates on her priorities for the NHF.
“The strategic approach that GMHP has to solving issues in Greater Manchester, not just in the housing sector but across issues such as homelessness, skills and employment, and health, is innovative and refreshing,” said Henderson.
“There is great work going on amongst housing providers and their partners, and much for other areas of the country to learn from. You can see that there is a lot of trust within the partnership, and the pragmatic and opportunistic approach to combating these issues is key to the success of the consortia.”
Jon Lord, chief executive of Bolton at Home, who serves as the GMHP’s chair, said: “Talking with Kate about how GMHP started, what we’ve achieved in the last two years and our priorities for 2019 really demonstrates how far we’ve come as a partnership.
“Our relationship with the National Housing Federation is key to facilitating real change, especially when it comes to issues on a national level. It was clear how much Kate values the strides we’ve made for the sector in the region and we’re really glad she made the trip to Manchester, even if the snow did threaten to postpone her visit.”
Following the event, Henderson was then invited to tour One Manchester’s first eco modular construction scheme, Stoney Gate, in Openshaw.
The rent to buy development will launch in April and is built to Passivhaus standards, a model of energy efficiency which can provide residents with a considerable cost saving on energy bills. It consists of 21 three-bedroom houses and is situated on the site of a former Eastlands Homes older persons scheme.