LOCAL housing associations in Greater Manchester claim they have supported almost 2,000 previously homeless people into safe homes this year, and that’s only a part of the social value they provide the city region.
Across the area, the 26 housing associations within the Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP) group have also spent over £6 million on contracts within the local not-for-profit community and voluntary sectors. Furthermore, between them they have also provided help to 6,500 local residents towards employment.
This represents a taste of the organisation’s collective clout delivering social value for local communities, GMHP says; the full value of their work was revealed at the Greater Manchester Social Value Network.
“It’s so important for us to record our social value impact because it measures the benefits of what we do from the perspective of our tenants and communities,” said Lee Sugden (pictured), chief executive of Salix Homes and chair of the GMHP’s social value group.
“As a sector, we are so much more than bricks and mortar. Our collective social value efforts can take someone out of homelessness, guide a person into employment, or help someone overcome personal issues and increase their confidence. By sharing the same social value goals, housing organisations and businesses are making a real difference in Greater Manchester.
“It’s vital we shine a light on this activity. It helps society at large to understand that we’re not here just to provide housing, there’s so many other benefits to what we do.”
Social value is commonly defined by the positive changes people experience in their lives due to the actions of an organisation or business.
It often refers to how the community benefits from an organisation’s procurement policies, for example by working with suppliers that provide apprenticeship opportunities for local people and that pay their staff the real Living Wage.
During the 2018/19 financial year, the GMHP’s social value figures showed that they collectively supported 6,561 residents towards work and helped 2,342 into jobs. Furthermore:
- They let 1,988 homes to people who were previously homeless and completed 1,237 newbuild properties, which were also aimed at reducing the homelessness crisis in the area
- Over £4.3 million was spent with local not-for-profit organisations and 110 community and voluntary organisations were engaged in formal alliances or contracts. £2.19m in grants were awarded to the community and voluntary sector
- Housing staff volunteered 9,911 hours of time to support local communities, while 2,347 residents got involved in volunteering
The Greater Manchester Social Value Network event was attended by 120 representatives of housing providers, businesses and other organisations from across the region. The Co-operative’s chief executive Steve Murrells and former Labour MP and secretary of state for communities & local government Hazel Blears were keynote speakers at the event.