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About

Greater Manchester Tenants Union is a democratic, member-led union, working across the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester. We organise and represent our members in the private and social rented sector. We fight for safe, secure and affordable housing for everyone. We are not affiliated to any political party.

Our Registered Office is: 667-669, Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, Manchester M12 4QE

What We Do

The Greater Manchester Tenants Union is a member-led organisation of low and middle-income renters and residents working and fighting together to win concrete improvements in our everyday lives, and put political and economic power in the hands of ordinary working people.

We hear daily of the impacts of a broken housing system on people’s lives: skyrocketing rents, poor conditions, people having to move from their neighbourhood because of gentrification, precarity and abusive landlords.

We want to transform the housing system so that everyone has access to an affordable, secure and decent home. We fight for a world run by and for working people.

In towns and neighborhoods across Greater Manchester we are building the union from scratch, by people working, taking action, fighting and winning together. We stop evictions, win compensation for our members for repairs, and campaign to push our local authorities and the government to bring in tough regulations in the Private Rented Sector, and fight for an expansion of public housing.

Our Structure

The Greater Manchester Tenants Union rests on a network of branches, usually in a particular neighbourhood, that allows people to take action on local issues. These branches have an elected leadership, and are accountable both to local members and to the union as a whole.

At the city-regional level, we are governed by the Committee, elected each year at our AGM. The Committee also comprises branch representatives and delegates from our affiliates. The Committee is legally responsible for the organisation, and sets the strategic and political orientation of the union as a whole on a month by month basis.

Beneath the Committee sit a number of subcommittees, including comms, anti-racism and member solidarity, which are open to all members.

Every quarter we hold an All Member Meeting to allow the entire membership to feed into our strategy and political direction.

We have active branches across Greater Manchester, and are looking to build more. Don’t have a Tenants Union branch in your neighbourhood? Get in touch, and let’s build one.

How We Are Funded

As a union, we function through a dues model: our members support us and this means that we are accountable to members and put members’ interests first. A membership-funding model gives the union political independence, and ensures that we are democratic and member-led. Member subscriptions keeps us working for you, our members. You can join here.

We have also received financial support from Trade Unions, who may affiliate to the Greater Manchester Tenants Union. We value such support highly, and if you want to ask your union to affiliate, contact us.

We also seek external funding to support our activities and enable the growth of the union.

So far we have received funding from:

  • Nationwide Foundation
  • The Good Law Project

OUR COMMITTEE

These are the elected members of the Committee in 2021/22

Thirza Asanga-Rae – Chair

Ekua Bayunu – Treasurer

Mark Slater – Vice-Chair

Marc Hatton – Outreach, Membership, Recruitment

Vik Chechi-Ribeiro – Outreach, Membership, Recruitment

Glyn Foreman – Outreach, Membership, Recruitment

Andrea Gibbons – Member Solidarity

Liz Fox – Member Solidarity

Connor Murphy – Member Solidarity

Staff

We currently have a small staff team who work alongside elected leaders to support the unions’ growth:

Ben Clay – Lead Organiser and Stockport Organiser

Isaac Rose – Organiser – Hulme and Moss Side

Allison Fewtrell – Comms & Outreach

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News

GM Renters Manifesto

Demanding A New Normal

For the last 6 months, renters across Greater Manchester have been coming together to discuss what the most pressing issues are for us today in the lead up to the Mayoral elections.  

We recognise that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated already existing problems within a broken housing system, such as unaffordable rents made worse through furlough, disrepair made more acute through stay at home restrictions and landlords risking their tenants health by arriving in our homes unannounced during a global health crisis.  

We identified four different areas within which to create our demands: Rent, Disrepair, Landlordism and Knowing Our Rights, but also recognise that a huge part of fixing the private rented sector lies with commitments to building and properly managing more council housing.

We hope that the manifesto will be used to pressure local council candidates to fight harder for private renters, and recognise that fighting on a case by case basis does nothing to solve such a rotten system in which we’re forced to exist. We need real change.  

1: Prioritise housing need; Build the 30,000+ social rent homes, end conversions to so called ‘affordable housing,’ demolitions of homes & right to buy, which are constantly reducing the number of homes available for social rent.

2. An end to policies which allow discrimination based on migrant status, disability, receipt of benefits, or low income such as ‘No DSS’ and adopt policies to address inequality, support and protect disadvantaged and marginalised groups.

3. The implementation of rent controls that both bring rents in line with 30% of median household income in the city and prevents future rises that are out of step with levels of income growth.

4. Issue a forgiveness of rent arrears that have accumulated during the pandemic with landlords who may struggle to meet the costs of such measures being encouraged to seek means-tested support.

5. A cap of 5 properties for tenancy landlords, and an increase of income tax for landlords who own 3 properties or more. This is vital in deterring landlords from buying up multiple properties in Greater Manchester, and letting them in dangerous and unsafe ways.

6. We need an independent “Rented Property MOT” with a body of inspectors to ensure agreed healthy living standards and legislation in place to swiftly enforce landlords to adhere to them.

7. The GMCA work with democratic tenants unions across GM to distribute up to date, tenant-led versions of the How To Rent booklet mandatory with every private tenancy.

To view our full manifesto, follow the link here.