Who are Great Places Housing Group?

Great Places Housing Group exists to improve the lives of the people living in its 19,000 homes across the North West and Yorkshire. Much more than just a landlord, it provides a wide range of services and promotes partnership work to create vibrant, sustainable communities.

The company that has become Great Places has been evolving over the last five decades, working hard to make a positive difference to the lives of customers in its homes and communities. Like Equity, social purpose is at its heart and it has an impressive track record of delivering great things across its operating areas. Equity and Great Places are a fantastic fit because they have very similar geographies, histories and cultures, and together they will be able to do even more to tackle the housing crisis and deliver great services.

Since then the business has evolved and grown, and over a number of years Manchester Methodist merged with Ashiana, Space New Living and Windmill housing associations; Great Places in its current form was established in 2009.

The Group, which is supported by approximately 625 colleagues across four regional offices (the Manchester head office, Oldham, Sheffield and Blackpool), is made up of:

  • Great Places Housing Association – providing general needs rented homes and tenancy services as well as accommodation and services that promote independence and wellbeing for some of society's most vulnerable people.
  • Plumlife – an award-winning affordable home ownership company. Plumlife helps people to fulfil their home ownership dreams through Help to Buy schemes such as Shared Ownership as well as outright sale.
  • Cube – developing quality new homes for market sale and private rent.

Great Places has gone from strength to strength and has seen many highlights over recent years. In 2013, Matthew Harrison became Chief Executive having previously been its Director of Development, and Tony Davison, Chair.

Three years later, in 2016, the business saw a record turnover of £103.9million; and this has been surpassed every year since.

Like Equity, Great Places is very proud to be a profit-for-purpose organisation. It strives to be as efficient and effective as possible, and remain a top performer within the housing industry. However, a significant portion of its surplus is then reinvested to help it go far beyond its standard landlord obligations and realise its vision of Great Homes, Great Communities, Great People.

In 2019, Great Places was chosen as the lead partner for the Greater Manchester Housing First partnership, aimed at housing 400 people across Greater Manchester; it became a key contributor to the GM Mayor’s A Bed Every Night initiative; and was instrumental in the establishment of Hive Homes, a £30m joint venture designed to increase the supply of new homes across Greater Manchester.

And that was just one of a number of huge achievements last year. Others include:

  • £47million invested into building new homes
  • £9million in improvements to existing homes
  • Repairs satisfaction of 92.9 per cent
  • 88.7 per cent of repairs were successfully done first time
  • Achieving savings of £5.8million

And this brings us today, where the group welcomes a new partner into the fold as Equity Housing Group will join on April 1, 2020. This partnership will see the Group have around 24,000 homes across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire, and create a 750-strong workforce.

The combined strength of the new group will allow us to invest even more into our homes and communities and provide more opportunities for the people living in those neighbourhoods.

And with a development plan to build 11,000 over the next decade or so, the new Great Places Housing Group is doing its bit to tackle the housing crisis and provide new homes across a range of tenures.