Case Studies

Sensible Housing Co-op, Bolton

Type of project: Established Housing Co-operative

Sensible were set up in 1984 as a fully mutual housing co-operative which means that all their members are also tenants.

Funded originally via a mixture of government grants and loans and some cheap loan finance through the local authority, the co-op acquired their first property in 1986 and now own and manage 28 properties in Bolton which are a mixture of flats and family homes. Their original aim was to provide access to safe and secure accommodation for young people who had limited access to social housing.

In addition to providing homes, Sensible have also funded training opportunities for members.

Homes for Change, Hulme

Type of project: Established Housing Co-operative

Homes for Change Housing Co-operative Ltd and Work for Change Ltd are sister co-ops built in the mid-1990s as part of the redevelopment of Hulme, until then one of the largest deck access estates in Europe.

Hulme residents with a vision worked with a development partner, the Guinness Trust, to create 75 homes and a mixed workspace co-op, with the intention of taking ownership of the building in the long term. Homes for Change offers 1 to 4-bed flats for social rent, with no option to buy.

This has created a stable community which reflects the demographics of Hulme, while Work for Change provides affordable business units, art studios, meeting space and a café which add to local amenities. It is one of the most significant community-initiated housing complexes in Greater Manchester, demonstrating how much can be achieved and sustained through community control.

Hearth, Stockport

Type of project: Community Led Housing

Hearth are a newly established community led housing group who are exploring the possibilities for a piece of land in Stockport…email Janet and Jonathan on [email protected] if you’d like to find out more.

Chorlton Community Land Trust

Chorlton Community Land Trust grew out of a local group who developed an alternative vision for Ryebank Fields, land being sold for housing by Manchester Metropolitan University.

The CLT want to ensure that it will be a landmark scheme for local people in terms of long-term stewardship of the open space, having affordable and zero carbon  homes, a cohousing community with exemplar design quality, and protection and enhancement of the natural environment.

The group is also working to save a historic cinema in Chorlton to be redeveloped for the benefit of the community.

The CLT incorporated as a Community Benefit Society in April 2019 with a public launch in June of that year. They now have over 300 members.