Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett has outlined how tackling the housing crisis can bring an end to poverty in Greater Manchester at a conference in Salford.
The event, at the Salford Lads Club, brought together the region’s political leadership and the housing sector to help shape the new Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham’s wider strategy of delivering vital new affordable homes for local people.
As keynote speaker, Paul Dennett addressed delegates in his role as Greater Manchester’s Combined Authority’s (GMCA) lead for housing, planning and homelessness.
He described his vision of working with housing providers to get vital homes built, as well as highlighted the impact of a lack of genuinely affordable housing in the region.
The conference, hosted by the National Housing Federation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), marked the unveiling of the Greater Manchester Housing Provider’s (GMHP) new ‘Poverty Charter’ – which sets out a shared commitment to reducing poverty in communities.
It also showcased the JRF’s report ‘Tackling poverty through housing and planning policy in city regions’, presented by Dr Richard Crisp and Professor Ian Cole.
Jon Lord, Chief Executive of housing association Bolton at Home, said: “The number of local people facing poverty is sadly on the increase with benefit cuts, low salaries and zero-hour contracts quickly becoming a reality for many living across Greater Manchester.
“It is therefore absolutely critical that housing providers and other organisations working in some of the region’s most deprived areas continue to increase their focus on helping to lift people out of poverty.
“Together, we can improve communities and empower residents to enjoy a better life.”
Brian Robson, Policy and Research Manager for housing at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “We all have a vital role to play in solving poverty, so it’s great to see Greater Manchester’s housing providers making these anti-poverty pledges.
“The Joseph Rowntree Foundation particularly welcomes their commitment to working with the GMCA to prioritise the delivery of low-cost rented housing, which can provide a vital buffer against poverty.”
The National Housing Federation supports the work of the GMHP, which between them own and manage a quarter of a million homes across Greater Manchester – and one in every five home in the city region.
The need for affordable housing in Greater Manchester has never been greater, and its role in creating employment and opportunity can be profound. Currently, local people need a pay rise of 57% just to afford an 80% mortgage on a typical home in the region.
The JRF’s report ‘Tackling poverty through housing and planning policy in city regions’ can be downloaded here.