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Lessons from the Global South for community-led housing

1 November 2018 / 6.00-8.30pm
Friends Meeting House (upper hall), Manchester M2 5NS
Reserve a free ticket here


This penultimate session in the Housing Futures series is not to be missed for activists, urban development professionals and practitioners looking for a fresh lens through which to view the complex challenge of meeting a diversity of housing needs while ensuring housing policy and practice is shaped by communities themselves – including those living on low incomes. For the last 20 years, Diana has worked closely with Shack/Slum Dwellers International, a trans-national network of homeless and landless people’s federations and support NGOs; and with the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, a network of civil society groups focusing on urban poverty and exclusion. These collaborations have enabled her to learn from a range of models and approaches led by grassroots organisations in addressing housing injustice across cities of the Global South. In addition to leading the GDI, Diana Mitlin is also Principle Researcher for IIED and spent several years working as an Economist for the UK Government. With professional experience in the UK civil service, civil society, and academia, Diana has a cross-cutting perspective on the challenges of inclusive service delivery for diverse needs and particularly for low-income groups. Diana has been playing a listening role throughout the Housing Futures series. At this event, she will engage critically with the challenges, complexities, and possibilities that we have been discussing throughout the year from the perspective of experiences of community-led housing and government-civil society collaborations in cities across the Global South.

An emergent finding in the Housing Futures research process to date is that the phrase “community-led” is interpreted in many different ways and there is a lack of capacity and experience not just at community level but also at professional levels in terms of really understanding what a genuinely community-led process looks and feels like and how to facilitate or support such processes. Together with Diana, activists from the Kenyan Slum Dwellers Federation will provide participants with a new perspective on these questions and illuminate the ways in which micro-level community-led processes have the potential to transform the range of options available at city and national levels.  Muungano Wa Wanavijiji ('united slum dwellers' in Kiswahili) is a network of around 100,000 people in nearly 1000 groups, community-based organisations, organised groups, informal markets, squatters, and urban poor people from across Kenya. Together they seek to improve slums, and integrate them into the city fabric, working with partners in academia, government, and civil society, and working to influence national policy for urban development. Muungano believe that slum communities should be at the centre of city and national development. They are affiliated with SDI, the biggest grassroots movement in the world.

Greater Manchester Housing Co-operatives: Past, Present & Future    26 April 2018 / 6.00-8.30pm                 Co-ops UK, Holyoake House, Manchester  M60 0AS

Cohousing: potential and challenges
21 June 2018 / 6.00-8.30pm
Mechanics Institute (main hall), Manchester M1 6DD

Community Land Trusts: the what, why and how
19 July 2018 / 6.00-8.30pm
Friends Meeting House (main hall), Manchester M2 5NS

Alternative Models of Ownership: risks and opportunities for the community-led housing movement
20 September 2018 / 6.00-8.30pm
Friends Meeting House (main hall), Manchester M2 5NS

Greater Manchester Community-led Housing Network launch
8 December 2018 / 1.00-4.30pm
Mechanics Institute (main hall), Manchester M1 6DD                          Note: this is a Saturday event

Housing Futures


Housing Futures is organising a series of monthly events throughout 2018 on a range of community-led housing models. These events are aimed both at building a Greater Manchester network of people, groups and organisations interested in promoting community-led housing, but also in thinking through the potential and challenges associated with community-led housing. We are particularly interested in thinking through what it has to offer low-income neighbourhoods amidst a crisis in housing availability and affordability in certain areas. We hope that the partnership will lay the foundations for a new regional hub for support and advice on community-led housing in Greater Manchester. We would like to thank Manchester Urban Institute at the University of Manchester for their sponsorship of the Housing Futures events programme.

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For more information about Housing Futures please contact: Hannah Berry, Housing Futures Steering Group Chair, at gmhousingfutures@gmail.com.

For more information about the Realising Just Cities programme at the University of Sheffield please contact: Dr Sophie King, Realising Just Cities Research Fellow, at s.king@sheffield.ac.uk.