Greater Manchester Housing Providers have joined other leaders across the city region to agree a unique new partnership that will help many more people to live in good health – by providing good quality homes that meet their needs.
The city region’s leaders for housing, health, social care and local government have agreed to prioritise good health in their future decisions about planning, new homes, and the support offered to residents.
The approach builds on Greater Manchester’s pioneering work that has successfully supported hundreds of people who were sleeping rough, or were homeless, into their own stable and supported homes.
The unique Better Homes, Better Neighbourhoods, Better Health “Tripartite Agreement” between Greater Manchester Housing Providers, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and Greater Manchester Combined Authority was launched today (23 March) at an online event.
It is believed to be the first time in England that housing, health and local government have agreed to work together in this way to achieve these long term objectives.
The collaboration builds on existing successful joint housing and health projects, such as:
- A Bed Every Night – the scheme to provide accommodation for people who sleep rough, which has received significant NHS funding in order to improve physical and mental health
- Housing First – which is providing hundreds of new homes and support for people who had been sleeping rough, or have complex needs, helping them by providing the stability of their own home
- Social Impact Bond – which has helped hundreds of people who had been sleeping rough into safe and supported accommodation
- Let Us – the Greater Manchester ethical lettings agency that provides management services to private landlords through the services of housing association partners
- Work to support mental health patients out of hospital to move into their own home, where they have been supported with their health needs, as well as being provided with help to sustain their tenancies and develop independence
- Training of health and housing front line workers to identify and plan for people’s health needs alongside their housing needs – particularly with vulnerable groups such as people who sleep rough, migrants or sex workers.
Leaders for housing, health and local government have now agreed to go much further in their joint working, by:
Creating the right housing in quality neighbourhoods
- Working together to plan new housing and communities that enhance health by providing the right physical, social and green infrastructure, and by ensuring people can access health, social care, work, education and training
- Building 50,000 truly affordable homes by 2037, of which 30,000 would be for social rent, and ensuring they are available to the residents who would most benefit from them
- More housing that meets health needs or the need for social care
Supporting more vulnerable households
- Providing homes and support suitable for people who have needs such as learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s, mental health issues and physical disabilities
- Providing accommodation for young people who have left the care system, helping them to live independently
Supporting people who are homeless or sleeping rough
- Keep in place the support and solutions implemented during the pandemic
- Retain schemes such as A Bed Every Night, Social Impact Bond and Housing First
- Expand the ethical lettings agency to make available an additional 800 homes by 2024
Improving access and choice
- Coordinating the way social housing is allocated across Greater Manchester
- Involving housing providers more closely with local health teams
- Supporting the goal for all new build homes should be carbon neutral by 2028 and to insulate and adapt existing housing to cut greenhouse gas emissions
Jobs, training and Covid-19 recovery
- Ensuring that investment in housing also opens up new training and work opportunities, particularly for people who may need retraining or support, recognising that good work is good for mental health
- Supporting the economic and social recovery from Covid-19 by helping those most affected into new job opportunities
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “We have shown in Greater Manchester that we can support people with the most complex housing and health needs into safe, secure and supported accommodation.
“We have done that because we work in partnership across the housing, health and local government sectors, and because we have received fantastic support from voluntary, community and faith organisations.
“We don’t simply provide a flat or a house, we also provide the support that allows people to overcome or manage mental health and physical health difficulties.
“Now we want to go much further – to provide homes that much better meet the needs of people with a range of physical or health difficulties and to ensure our homes and neighbourhoods are healthy places to live for everyone.”
Paul Dennett, Greater Manchester leader for housing, homelessness and infrastructure, said: “Tackling the housing and homelessness crisis, being able to live in a secure and stable home and have access to support for health or care needs, are all fundamental to being able to live a healthy life.
“We are committed to providing 50,000 new truly affordable homes, of which 30,000 will be for social rent, by 2037.
“We need to ensure those homes will contribute to people living healthy lives, for example by having a good mix of housing types and ensure we have homes that are suitable for older people or those with disabilities.
“We also need to ensure that poor quality accommodation is improved so no-one has to suffer the damp, cold or overcrowded conditions that lead to poor health.
“This new agreement will build on the unique involvement we have in Greater Manchester between our health and social care services, our housing providers and local government.
“This partnership is supporting the delivery of the Greater Manchester Housing Strategy, while also complementing the work of Greater Manchester’s forthcoming Good Landlord Scheme.
“We have proved we can deliver and now we will go further and faster in improving health, our housing and quality of life.”
Greater Manchester Housing Providers represents 26 providers who between them own 250,000 safe, decent and affordable homes and who house one in five people in the city region.
Jon Lord, Chair of Greater Manchester Housing Providers, said: “It is important to all the Greater Manchester Housing Providers to have strong partnerships in place with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to ensure the current and future needs of our residents and communities are always kept as a priority. This agreement is the first of its kind, and recognises the commitment to that goal.”
Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership is made up of all NHS organisations and all councils who are working together to bring about the greatest and fastest improvement the health and wellbeing of the city region’s 2.8 million people.
Sir Richard Leese, Chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “If we are genuinely committed to improving the lives of all Greater Manchester residents, it is essential that the NHS, local government, and housing providers work together.
“No single organisation in the city-region can hope to address all the factors that impact on people’s wellbeing alone – especially when health and economic inequalities remain intrinsically connected.
“Creating good quality, appropriate and secure housing is a vital step towards reducing health inequalities – providing the literal foundations for people to build a better future.
“The Tripartite Agreement will see us develop our collaborative approach to improve people’s opportunities to get on and stay well.”