PLANS developed by the Greater Manchester Housing Providers (GMHP) to tackle the region’s housing needs are a “huge step in the right direction”, according to the BBC’s Mark Easton.
Easton, home editor for BBC News, was a guest speaker at an event organised so that GMHP members and local authorities could discuss some of the key housing challenges for the city region.
Made up of 26 housing organisations across the region, GMHP launched its ‘Ambition to Deliver’ manifesto last year, setting out how housing providers can work together in devolved regions to tackle the housing crisis facing many areas of the UK.
The manifesto explores the ways that housing providers can work together with other agencies on their five priority areas for the city region: new homes, health and social care, work and skills, Greater Manchester economy and homelessness.
Hosted by the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC), the event provided an opportunity for participants to hear from key regional figures including: City Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett; Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker; and chief executives representing the GMHP. Speakers discussed the GMHP’s commitment, key achievements and future plans.
“The delivery of desperately needed new homes will not deal with the problem unless it is done in concert with many other service providers and agencies across a region,” said Easton. “That is why this conference, and the collective work of Greater Manchester Housing Providers to bring partners together, is so vital. We really do need to talk about how we are going to build a Greater Manchester and GMHP’s Ambition to Deliver is huge step in that direction.”
Lee Sugden, chief executive of GMHP-member Salix Homes, and an NHC board director said: “This is an exciting time for Greater Manchester. We’ve seen significant achievements since 2012, both within our individual organisations and as a partnership, demonstrating that housing providers can hold the key for meeting some of the big challenges facing the city region.
“We know however that we can’t do this alone, and building on our close relationships with the 10 local authorities across Greater Manchester will be crucial to GMHP playing a major role in delivering the 227,000 more homes needed across the city region over the next 20 years.
“[The] conference marks a pivotal moment on that journey and we are encouraged to see a shared commitment across our local authorities.
“Greater Manchester has long been a place of firsts and GMHP are leading the way nationally for how housing providers can work together with devolved authorities to deliver the priorities for a region and the people who live there.”
The plans include commitments to double the delivery of new homes, invest in solutions for an ageing population, invest in more than 1,000 new apprentices and tackle homelessness by intervening in the private rented sector to provide better quality and more suitable temporary accommodation.