£600,000 to modernise the private rented sector in Manchester

Fair Housing Futures is calling for innovative ideas that will address the challenges of accessing and living in the private rented sector that are trapping tenants with limited financial and social support in Greater Manchester. Organisations such as tenants’ groups, charities, housing associations and those covering planning, development and even health and well-being are encouraged to apply.

The fund of £600,000 is available over the next three years and it is hoped that the solutions found in Greater Manchester could be applied elsewhere to lead to system-wide change. Fair Housing Futures is funded by the Nationwide Foundation and hosted by housing charity Shelter.

The lack of social housing in the region is pushing more people into unstable private rents, which threatens many vulnerable people, as the affordability, security and support they would normally receive in social housing is simply not there.

Leigh Pearce, Chief Executive of the Nationwide Foundation, said: “The private rented sector has changed massively in recent years and needs to undergo significant redesign. It’s only right that we should make rented homes places where tenants are treated with respect and can truly feel happy and settled.

“This work will help tenants who are struggling with affordability and trapped in poor quality rented homes. The fund will test solutions to challenges faced by vulnerable, disadvantaged and low-income tenants in the private rented sector in Greater Manchester. Because the fund is not constrained by statutory obligations, it can be used creatively, and we look forward to seeing some innovative and smart ideas come through.

“We’ve chosen this mayoral authority to work in as we see enormous appetite for modernisation of housing policy and practice in Greater Manchester. However, the fears and struggles facing tenants in Greater Manchester are sadly not unique, and we hope that the successes here will eventually trail-blaze vital improvements to the private rented sector right across the UK.”

More about the test and learn grants

  • Improve communication between tenants, landlords and letting agents to enhance the renting journey.
  • Empower tenants by raising awareness of existing rights, services, regulation and enforcement.
  • Support landlords by improving their awareness of regulation and enforcement and help them manage their experiences and expectations of being a landlord.
  • Break the stigma of vulnerable tenants in the private rented sector, particularly those in receipts of benefits.
  • Projects must be based in Greater Manchester
  • If the organisation bidding for funding is based outside of Greater Manchester, it must be able to demonstrate a local governance or a partnership in the area
  • Open to charitable organisations including registered UK charities, CICs (Limited by Guarantee), constituted community groups and co-operatives
  • Local authorities can apply if it’s for non-statutory projects
  • Individuals or commercial organisations cannot be funded
  • Fund closes on 30 September 2019