Housing issues have never been so pressing in Manchester, particularly for those reliant on private renting as their only housing option

The Manchester Renters Forum, 01.03.18, 6:30-9pm, The Mechanics Institute.

Led by renters for renters, the Renters Forum will give those struggling to access or live in the private rented sector the opportunity to speak directly to policy makers and demand for change. The initiative, the first of its kind in the city, has received the support of Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester who has stated “This Forum is an opportunity for renters to come together and share their experiences of renting in Greater Manchester, as well as discussing what needs to change and improve, and I welcome it.”

Over the last decade, the proportion of Manchester residents living in the private rented housing has increased drastically. The social housing stock continues to deplete, with 120,000 households bidding on the small quantity remaining, resulting in only one option for most - to rent privately. The cost of house ownership continues to creep up leaving this option out of reach for the majority. However, those renting privately are met with various issues including; lack of affordability, poor conditions, no-fault evictions and lack of tenant rights.

Many individuals and families face a huge barriers to access private rented housing, these mainly stem from the costs involved or the stigma and fear associated to renters who are claiming welfare benefit. These barriers continue to fuel the increase in homelessness across the city, as private renting can sometimes be not suitable and largely unsupported for those with more complex needs.

The Renters Forum aims to combat these issues and others, by building a platform on which those struggling to rent or those renting privately can voice their difficulties to council leaders. It aims to empower renters and forge greater cooperation and dialogue between them, landlords, council leaders and local support agencies.

The Forum has been organised by a coalition of organisations including Greater Manchester Housing Action, Tenants Union UK, Acorn Communities & Shelter Manchester. This Forum will be limited to residents of Manchester, it is hoped that further meetings will be planned for other Greater Manchester council areas.

Andy Burnham and other key council figures will be in attendance to listen to the issues renters are facing.

There will be food & refreshments available at the event, as well as childcare for any parents wanting to attend with children. Tickets are free and need to be booked via eventbrite.