Housing co-operatives and tenant management organisations (TMO) across Greater Manchester in the UK opened their doors to the public on 5-7 July for the first ever county-wide Community Led Housing Open Homes Weekend.
Members of the public were invited to see community led housing in action, in an event held to coincide with the International Day of Co-operatives (6 July). They given were tours and information on how to set up a community led housing project.
Eight different homes opened up throughout the city region, from small flats to communal houses and TMOs, which manage whole blocks of flats or estates. These included Castle Rockdove Housing Co-op, Rockdove Rising Housing Co-operative and Homes for Change in Hulme; Sensible Housing Co-op in Bolton; and New Barracks Tenant Management Co-operative in Salford.
A housing co-operative is a housing organisation that is controlled, managed and owned by its members. Property is owned collectively. Tenant management organisations allow residents to manage property owned by someone else, often a council or housing association.
Part of the Greater Manchester Community Led Housing Project, the event was held to raise awareness of community led housing and support projects through a network of professional advisors. The project is funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and work is underway to develop a permanent support hub covering the 10 districts of Greater Manchester.
GMCA launched the Co-operative Commission in February 2019 to help develop co-operative activity across Greater Manchester and to explore how co-ops can help tackle local issues. The Commission is gathering examples of co-operative success and growth through an online survey at www.gmconsult.org.
GMCA lead on housing, Paul Dennett, said: “Co-operative housing is a great way to help prevent some of the bigger issues that the city region is facing around housing including homelessness and rough sleeping, the private rented sector and more.”
Roo Bramley, who lives in a housing co-op, added. “Housing co-ops are a great alternative to rented accommodation which allow people who aren’t able to afford a mortgage to take control of their housing. It allows people to build real community within their housing and to live in stable accommodation.”