Empowering communities: Community Led Homes leading the way

No comments

By Rachel Summerscales, Project Officer at Greater Manchester Community Led Homes

In the ever-evolving landscape of housing, the concept of Community Led Housing (CLH) emerges as a beacon of empowerment and sustainability. At its core, CLH embodies the principles of local engagement, ownership, and long-term community benefit. And in Greater Manchester, GM Community Led Homes (GMCLH) stands as a driving force behind this transformative movement.

But what exactly is Community Led Housing? It’s more than just bricks and mortar. It’s about housing that is built or revitalized by local residents, supported by the community, and owned or managed by its members. Importantly, CLH ensures that the benefits to the local community are safeguarded for generations to come.

GMCLH, a member-led hub within Greater Manchester, is dedicated to accelerating the delivery of community-led homes while providing vital support to housing groups. Their mission? To collaboratively build and manage homes with and for communities throughout the region. As an independent not-for-profit Community Benefit Society, GMCLH serves as a hub for advice, resources, and provides and invaluable network for contacts and shared experience.

The support GMCLH provides is exemplified in their recent endeavours in Oldham. When landowners sought to develop a community-led housing project, GMCLH stepped in to facilitate initial community engagement. This effort culminated in the formation of a steering group comprising local housing associations and organisations in dire need of affordable housing solutions.

Among the groups engaged in the co-design process are Support and Action for Women’s Network (SAWN) and Youthouse Housing Co-op. SAWN, a local charity empowering Black African women, recently expanded into housing, aiming to provide a safe and empowering environment. GMCLH’s support ensures that their housing model can be replicated within the Eco Village, offering autonomy and security to its tenants.

Similarly, Youthouse Housing Co-op, comprising young individuals who have experienced homelessness, is designing shared housing to address the unique needs of vulnerable young people in Oldham. By involving care leavers in the codesign process, GMCLH ensures that the resulting homes are not just affordable but also safe and supportive.

GMCLH’s network encompasses diverse housing models, including community self-builds, co-housing initiatives, Community Land Trusts and Shared Ownership scheme. They are also a member of the Social Homes for Manchester campaign, which aims to influence the Manchester Local Plan to include a target of 30% social housing in all developments.

With grant funding from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and collaboration with all ten local authorities, GMCLH is supporting progress in Wigan, Oldham, Manchester and Salford, as well as some initial work in Rochdale. Our vision throughout is to address housing issues at the grassroots level and provide sustainable solutions that truly meet the needs of the community.

To learn more about GMCLH and join the movement towards community-led housing, sign up for their newsletter, follow them on Facebook or Twitter, or attend their monthly forums. Together, we can build a future where housing is not just a commodity but a fundamental right for all.

This article is featured in our 21 February newsletter. To get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox, sign up to our mailing list.

i3oz9sEmpowering communities: Community Led Homes leading the way