Submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020


About the Greater Manchester Community Led Homes Hub

The Greater Manchester Community Led Homes Hub (‘the GMCLH Hub’) is one of over two dozen national CLH Hubs that have been created or developed using Community Housing Funding. The purpose of all the CLH Hubs is to increase the supply of housing by promoting, encouraging, supporting and offering technical assistance for all forms of community led organisations who wish to create new residential housing schemes either through new build or by conversion of local empty dwellings.

The GMCLH has been offered Community Housing Funding and is in the process of meeting these objectives set out in the grant in full.

A number of community groups in our region have been offered revenue funding via the Community Housing Fund which has helped them to increase their capacity to develop new homes.

We have the strategic support of all 10 Local Authorities within the region and the full support of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority who have offered matched funding to the development and growth of the GMCLH Hub.

Currently there are a total of 42 community led groups who have made enquiries or have plans in place to build new homes in Greater Manchester. Many projects are in deprived areas of the region and a number are from the BAME community. We have 532 new potential homes that could be constructed with the right level of support through the Community Led Housing route in Greater Manchester.

The GMCLH Hub has also been endorsed by a number of strategic partners in the region to include:

•Irwell Valley Homes

•The Greater Manchester Combined Authority

•North West Housing Services

•Greater Manchester Council for Voluntary Organisations

•GM Providers Social Housing Partnership

•Greater Manchester Housing Action

•Sensible Housing Co-operative

•Rockdove Rising Housing Co-operative

•Commoners Housing Co-operative

•Chorlton Community Land Trust

•Zah Housing Co-operative

As part of the community led housing sector, the GMCLH Hub is delivering on many of the Government’s priorities for housing and the aims of the CSR. We are beginning to demonstrate that we can help to support our region’s economic recovery and Government’s ambition for 300,000 new homes per year (including First Homes). We can evidence that we can deliver additional supply that is not available through mainstream building. We are able to provide some of our deprived communities the means to level themselves up and our projects can evidence that we can deliver on innovative and environmentally friendly homes.

For example, we are currently supporting the Laureates Place Self Builders (LPSB Ltd) in Oldham to construct their own first time home owned homes within their created community. This scheme has transformed a former blighted derelict site which housed a scrap metal yard.

We are working with a New Deal legacy organisation in Salford to become a Registered Provider to provide 28 social housing units. This project has made significant progress and has been submitted into planning.

Nationally, you will be aware that recent independent research commissioned by the National Community Land Trust Network and carried out by Capital Economics has proven that community led housing represents high value for money for the public funds invested. It offers Value For Money.

In Greater Manchester, our community groups have received a wide range of technical advice from our Hub’s qualified enablers and we have evidence that our community values and respects the aims and objectives of this new Hub.

So far in our development the GMCLH Hub has been able to garner multi-level strategic support for community led projects throughout the region and has been able to highlight these development opportunities using the skills that have been brought together under the community led homes banner. We have used the GMCLH Hub to build up the numbers of community led projects and therefore the potential to deliver many more homes than would otherwise be the case. The Community Housing Fund has been essential in allowing this community led homes agenda to begin to flourish and embed within the region.

Community led projects are at the cutting edge of innovation which has great potential to scale up and provide Value For Money for public funding.

Revenue funding is especially important. This allows community groups to build capacity and access mainstream Homes England funding.

Clearly public budgets have never been under such intense scrutiny given the economic impact of the Covid crisis. However, we feel strongly that the Community Housing Funding should be recommitted to increase the supply of housing, increase employment opportunities and build economic confidence in the region and the country.

It is vital that the Government now delivers on its manifesto commitment to community led housing and:

1.Renews the CHF for five years to provide the sector with long-term certainty.

2.Provide a total of £180m, including £57m for revenue funding, £108m for capital funding, as well as £15m for sector market infrastructure.

3.Ensures the Social Housing Regulator works with the sector to put in place a more proportionate process for the registration of Registered Providers for small community led housing organisations.