Housing Futures: Community-led Alternatives for Greater Manchester

Housing Futures: Community-led Alternatives for Greater Manchester was a research partnership seeking to advance understanding about the current and future potential of community-led housing to contribute to a more equitable, inclusive and democratic housing landscape in Greater Manchester.  Download the core report and recommendations for different stakeholders:

Greater Manchester Housing Action maintain the main Housing Futures website where you will find information about current and past activity, including the events programme. GM Housing Action also operate a Housing Futures mailing list using MailChimp. Subscribe here.

Who we are

Housing Futures brought together academics, housing sector professionals, and members of the Greater Manchester cooperative and housing movement to co-produce knowledge and action about a range of community-led models, from cooperatives and co-housing to community land trusts. We worked through a research steering group, supported by a wider reference group of informed advisors. Greater Manchester Housing Action was a key partner and is taking forward the findings of the research following the conclusion of the formal partnership (at the end of 2018).


Our approach

We aimed to integrate practical experiences in Greater Manchester, across the UK, and internationally, with existing academic knowledge in order to understand the many benefits, as well as the challenges, involved in realising community-led models for housing. We produced a set of proposals, tailored specifically to the Greater Manchester context, about the kinds of approaches that may be most appropriate for meeting the needs of particular groups – with a focus on low-income neighbourhoods; and for achieving ‘affordability plus’ outcomes: such as improving health and well-being, or enhancing local democracy. Through learning exchanges, networking events, and public debates, the Housing Futures team continue to foster a Greater Manchester Community-led Housing Network made up of individuals and organisations interested in taking action in response to our findings.


Dr Sophie King was the Realising Just Cities lead for Housing Futures. Email Sophie.


Download the main report:


Want to learn more about community-led housing options? Watch videos from the Housing Futures event series on the Realising Just Cities UK YouTube Channel.


News, events and blog

The June issue of the Mistra Urban Futures international newsletter is now available. Includes an update on the Sheffield-Manchester Local Interaction Platform's Liverpool, Manchester and Gothenburg learning exchange on social housing and neighbourhoods and the Greater Manchester visit to the Kenyan Slum Dwellers Federation (Muungano Wa Wanavijiji) in Nairobi in May for a learning exchange about community action against poverty. 

by Richard Goulding and Sophie King

We are undoubtedly witnessing “a moment” in the history-making of community-led housing in the UK.  Where has it sprung from? Where is it going? What are the motivations behind new forms of political support on left and right, from the centre, and at the local level? What would meaningful political support actually look like in practice and how can it be secured?

Community land trusts (CLTs) have been celebrated as a potential model for neighbourhood revival in areas of disinvestment and neglect. In the face of concerns about communities in many cities being displaced by rising land values, advocates hope that CLTs can also provide a way of enabling existing residents to remain in their homes and neighbourhoods. 

By Carl Makin (@carlmakin) a member of the Housing Futures Steering Group

“When people feel supported by strong relationships, change happens. And when we make collaboration and connection feel simple and easy, people want to join in. Yet our welfare state does not try to connect us one to another.” [1]