Lack of affordable housing, private rent hikes, tenants' rights and homelessness are just some of the issues blighting Salford and the rest of Greater Manchester as developers shove up luxury apartments on every spare scrap of land.
This Thursday, 7th December, the Housing Ideas Exchange will see residents, housing professionals, academics, activists and charities come together to "inspire and encourage new ideas around the housing crisis", to try and begin to solve the giant mess that the region finds itself in.
"The currency of this event will be the ideas and passion of the attendees, as the housing crisis is something that undeniably affects us all, as witnesses to our city" says key organiser, Adam Prince "A better way can often be found by people uniting to share ideas for alternatives and the awareness of the need for possibilities and change."
Between 4pm and 5pm there will be an ideas exchange fair in which around thirty organisations, including the Salford Star, will have stalls to interact with attendees, and from 5pm to 6:30pm there's five workshops focusing on solutions to make the changes that could improve housing...
* Policy change and improvement in housing and tenancy rights...a social policy and activism based workshop facilitated by Greater Manchester Housing Action, Tenants UK and assorted groups.
* Holistic approaches to housing and well-being...with Prof Roz Fox on social housing and positive community cohesion, Amy Varle from Social Property Investment, Elizabeth Omerod, from The Society for Companion Animal Studies, and other organisations.
* 'Criminality, Justice and Homelessness'...looking at addiction, decriminalisation, community-based successes and complex needs with Daniel McDonald, police officer and Homelessness Solutions Florida, Dr Rob Ralphs, Senior Criminology Lecturer MMU and spice expert, and Phil Morgan former Chief Executive of TPAS and Executive Director of Tenant Services at the Tenant Services Authority.
* Architecture as design solutions for specific housing needs...a creative workshop facilitated by volunteer architects, planners and designers.
* Humanity Jam Performance...Manchester Activists showing their squatting documentary, alongside interactive performance for ideas for legalising and improving squats.
At 7pm there's a Feedback Session to summarise the thoughts and ideas from the workshops, and to seek ways to take forward the findings.
"The idea is to record this data and inspire a range of people in thinking about how this national and local problem can be solved" says Adam Prince.
This 'people's think tank' was inspired by the famous quote from Salfordian Tony Wilson... "We are Manchester and we do things differently here". The main questions that need answering will be 'What needs to be done differently to house our population?' and 'Why aren't we doing things differently?'
Anyone with an issue, solution or who just wants to listen is welcome to attend.
Housing Ideas Exchange
Thursday 7th December 4pm-8pm free
Geoffrey Manton Building at the Manchester Metropolitan University
Rosamund St West (off Oxford Road)
Manchester M15 6LL.
The main organisers of the event are Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester Shield, Architecture Unknown, Social Property Investment, Greater Manchester Housing Action, Tenants Union UK and SynchronICITY.
To register for a free ticket – click here
To get a stall and take part email synchronicityMMU@gmx.com
From 8pm there's also after-think tank drinks at: Old Abbey Inn TapHouse
Manchester Science Park M15 6SY
Anyone wanting a bit of background from a Salford Star perspective can check out the following links...
Salford Has Only Two Affordable Houses for 4,172 Flats and Houses Built in Greengate and Chapel Street – click here
£42 Million Salford Planning Scandal As Mayor Asks What Is Going On – click here
Nine Year Salford Waiting List For One Bed Affordable Flat – click here
The Causes of the Housing Crisis In Salford - click here