Housing Futures: Community-led Alternatives for Greater Manchester



Housing Futures: Community-led Alternatives for Greater Manchester is a research partnership which seeks 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. Please visit the main Housing Futures website for more information on our events programme and the research partnership more widely and click here to be added to the Housing Futures mailing list.

Who we are

Housing Futures brings 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 work through a research steering group which is supported by a wider reference group of informed advisors. Greater Manchester Housing Action is a key partner and will be taking forward the findings of the research when the partnership concludes at the end of 2018.


Our approach

We aim 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 will produce 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, we are building 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 is the Realising Just Cities lead for Housing Futures. Email Sophie.

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]