Salix Homes CEO Lee Sugden

The impact of Greater Manchester’s housing providers on improving local communities has been revealed at a regional conference exploring ‘social value’.

Housing professionals from across the region attended today’s (September 10) Greater Manchester Social Value Network event at the The Co-operative Group’s Manchester headquarters in Angel Square.

To coincide with the event, the 26 organisations that make up the Greater Manchester Housing Providers network released figures which show the collective social value their work has created.

Social value is commonly defined by the positive changes people experience in their lives due to the actions of an organisation or business.

It often refers to how the community benefits from an organisation’s procurement policies, for example by working with suppliers that provide apprenticeship opportunities for local people and that pay their staff the real Living Wage.

GM Housing Providers’ social value figures for the 2018/19 financial year show they collectively supported 6,561 residents towards work, helping 2,342 into jobs.

They let 1,988 homes to people who were previously homeless and completed 1,237 new-build properties.

Over £4.3m was spent with local not-for-profit organisations and 110 community and voluntary organisations were engaged in formal alliances or contracts. £2.19m in grants were awarded to the community and voluntary sector.

Housing staff volunteered 9,911 hours of time to support local communities, while 2,347 residents got involved in volunteering.

Lee Sugden, Chief Executive of Salix Homes and Chair of the GM Housing Provider’s social value group, said: “It’s so important for us to record our social value impact because it measures the benefits of what we do from the perspective of our tenants and communities.

“As a sector, we are so much more than bricks and mortar. Our collective social value efforts can take someone out of homelessness, guide a person into employment, or help someone overcome personal issues and increase their confidence. By sharing the same social value goals, housing organisations and businesses are making a real difference in Greater Manchester.

“It’s vital we shine a light on this activity. It helps society at large to understand that we’re not here just to provide housing, there’s so many other benefits to what we do.”

Under their ‘Ambition to Deliver’ manifesto, GM Housing Providers are currently working together to:

  • Double the delivery of new homes in Greater Manchester
  • Reduce the pressures on health and social care through modern homes for an ageing population
  • Invest in more than 1,000 Greater Manchester apprentices
  • Support the Greater Manchester economy through procurement processes
  • Tackle homelessness through better temporary accommodation

The Greater Manchester Social Value Network event was attended by 120 representatives of housing providers, businesses and other organisations from across the region.

The Co-operative’s chief executive Steve Murrells and former Labour MP and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears were keynote speakers at the event.

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