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A Place Called Home

A vision for our social housing in Manchester 2022 – 2025


December 2020
Test of opinion - when we asked all tenants if they wanted Northwards to go back into MCC.

January 2021
The decision is made to bring Northwards in house.

April 2021
New repairs and maintenance contractor appointed EQUANS.

July 2021
The transfer completed.

November 2021
We appointed our new leadership team. Dave Ashmore, Director of Housing Services and Angela Raftery, Assistant Director.

January 2022
Recruitment starts for tenant representatives for the Housing Advisory Board.

May 2022
A Place Called Home workshops with staff on the strategy and vision.

July 2022
The Housing Advisory Board holds its first meeting.

August 2022
Engagement events start for residents to contribute to the strategy.

Why we need a new vision

In Manchester we are proud of our history of social housing. We led the way nationally when we built the first Council homes in 1894. Today our commitment to delivering quality affordable homes is just as strong.

A Place Called Home complements the ambitions of a new Housing Strategy for our City. Our vision, will establish and deliver resident-led housing services that is high on quality and value for Council tenants.

To develop A Place Called Home, we worked with local residents, elected members, partners and our colleagues to create a new vision for our housing services which reflects the Our Manchester principles.

The need for a new vision is clear. Housing services are now delivered by Manchester City Council, there is a new social housing bill, new building safety legislation and new consumer standards. The housing landscape is changing dramatically. We want our residents at the heart of this, driving positive change.

We have listened to residents about what matters to them most as a council tenant and they expect from their landlord. We have also worked with our colleagues to better understand our services. The result of which, is our new A Place Called Home vision which sets out our shared priorities for housing services.

These are:

  1. Resident-led services, putting you at the heart of everything we do
  2. High-quality housing services and home improvements for secure, warm, sustainable homes
  3. Welcoming, safe and vibrant neighbourhoods

The complex national policy changes, the impact of covid and the cost of living crisis, require us to prioritise our resources on what matters most for our residents.

That’s why the residents voice is front and centre of A Place Called Home and that’s why as a landlord we are committed to delivering high quality services and high quality homes.

Consultation and Engagement

Colleagues came along to three workshops where we discussed our ambitions for housing services and the improvements we would like to make.

We invited our partner organisations who work with residents in the community to share their views on what we should focus on.

Most importantly we consulted with residents themselves including at our summer fun days where colleagues engaged with the community to find out what really matters.

We also held three separate, focused events in community venues where residents joined us to tell us what is important to them.

What we heard, loud and clear from all our workshops and engagement work was that residents, colleagues and partners all want the same things from the housing service.

This is a really positive outcome as it means we can work together to achieve our vision. The words below show the key themes that came out of these sessions and contributed to our vision.


A Place Called Home – The Vision: Our Manchester

Getting the Basics Right

We are committed to listening to residents, to understand what they need from housing services and how those services need to be delivered.

We will get the basics right before anything else and to do this:

  • We will deliver services meeting resident expectations – truly listening at every opportunity.
  • We will use data and insight to tailor those services appropriately to meet resident needs.
  • We will learn from our mistakes and take a path of continual service improvement.
  • We will ensure homes are safe, affordable and sustainable to live in.

Our values and behaviours help us to deliver a housing service to be proud of.

The Our Manchester Behaviours are:

  • We are proud and passionate about Manchester.
  • We take time to listen and understand.
  • We own it and are not afraid to try new things.
  • We work together and trust each other.
  • We show that we value our differences and treat people fairly.

By focussing on getting basic services not only right first time but every time, we build the solid foundations to help residents to thrive at all stages of their lives. We do this with the help and support of our partners and stakeholders in line with Our Manchester Priorities:

  • We will support residents to contribute, engage, learn, progress and upskill.
  • We will support young people to access good quality education, prepare for work and seize opportunities as they present themselves.
  • We will work with residents and communities to improve health outcomes, supporting people to access the right services at the right time.
  • We will make sure that we maintain an inclusive approach to how we support residents regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.

A Place Called Home – Our Priorities

A Place Called Home is made up of three key priorities for improved service delivery:

  1. Resident-led services, putting you at the heart of everything we do

  2. High-quality housing services and home improvements for secure, warm, sustainable homes

  3. Welcoming, safe and vibrant neighbourhoods

Priority 1: Resident led services, putting you at the heart of everything we do

It is important that our services are led by and focused on the needs of our residents in Manchester.

Below sets out our priorities in this area:


We will take pride in our work and the services we deliver, so that in turn residents take pride in their homes and neighbourhood and feel a sense of belonging to the place they call home.

Respect, Honesty, Transparency, and Trust

At all times our residents will be treated with respect. We will be empathetic and non-judgemental with all residents, ensuring they feel listened to. We will be honest and transparent in every way we communicate with residents. This includes helping manage their expectations.

Ownership and Accountability

We will ensure all resident enquiries are resolved at the first point of contact. We will take ownership of all resident enquiries and ensure they are dealt with effectively and in a timely manner.

We will have the knowledge and resources to manage all enquires so we can get it right first time. When we get something wrong we will learn from our mistakes and use that learning to improve services. Our services will work proactively together.

We will understand the plans, ambitions and challenges across the organisation so that we work for the benefit of residents at all times.

Understanding the needs of our residents

We celebrate the diversity of residents in Manchester. We aim to have a comprehensive understanding of the needs of residents so that we can provide tailored services that meet their expectations.

Accessible and Inclusive Services

We are committed to delivering services to residents in ways that suit them. This includes, by telephone, in person through to providing digital self-service options for those who prefer them.

Resident Voice

It is important that our residents have a voice and opportunities to shape and positively impact how our services are delivered. We are committed to listening to their feedback so that we can make improvements and adapt to their needs and expectations.

Capacity Building of Residents

We launch our vision at a time when our country is in the middle of a cost of living crisis. We know that residents are worried and we promise to deliver wrap-around support on a range of issues.

Our colleagues will be fully trained and knowledgeable in the latest legislation and support available to individuals and families. Most importantly, they will demonstrate empathy and understanding towards the residents at all times.

We will ensure that residents who need it are given the best advice and support to be able to afford to live in their homes.

Priority 2: High quality housing services and home improvements for secure, warm and sustainable homes

Building safety

We will have colleagues dedicated to building safety to keep residents safe in their home. We will comply with all property-related legislation.

Repairs Service

We will ensure that repairs are completed on the first visit at every opportunity. We will send residents accurate and timely messages about repair appointments taking place in their homes. The contractors carrying out repairs will treat residents and their property with courtesy and respect and leave homes tidy following the work.

Improvement Works

We will deliver home improvements in line with the Decent Homes Standard, which are sustainable, represent best value and meet resident expectations. We will be clear and transparent about when, how and why we need to carry out improvement works on homes, ensuring that all work carried out causes minimum disruption.

Empty Homes

When a home becomes empty we will carry out any repairs needed to get it ready for the new resident as soon as possible.

Zero Carbon

Our City has ambitious plans to become zero carbon by 2038. Council homes are included in these plans. We have already installed sophisticated new heating systems to replace traditional gas boilers in hundreds of homes.

This work goes alongside more traditional energy saving measures such as replacing windows and adding insulation to keep homes warmer and reduce fuel poverty. There’s much more to do and we will continue to look for innovative ways to lower the carbon footprint of Manchester.

We will ensure that work done to residents homes to make them more energy efficient will be done with as little disruption as possible.

Priority 3: Welcoming, safe and vibrant neighbourhoods

Our neighbourhoods will be safe and enjoyable places where all residents feel safe, can succeed and live well.

We will create thriving neighbourhoods where people have a sense of purpose and belonging, encouraging equality and a sense of community and involvement. We will improve the way we work bringing services together for people in places, supporting residents to maintain their tenancies.

We will be visible and accessible in delivering our services in our neighbourhoods. We will ensure that all communal areas in our properties are kept safe, clean and tidy. We will investigate and take the appropriate action against those perpetrators of anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and hate crime. We will provide safe ways to report incidents and we will work with partners to ensure the best possible outcomes for residents to live in peaceful, safe communities.

We will ensure that green spaces are kept tidy and safe for residents to enjoy.

Next Steps

We are already developing an understanding about how our housing service needs to operate to deliver on this vision.

We will be producing new service delivery plans across all our services. These will deliver our priorities set out within our vision, turning our intentions into actions and results for residents.

We will continue to work with residents to make sure we remain accountable and we deliver.

We would like to thank all residents, staff and partners for their contribution to our vision.