Rochdale Boroughwide Housing 

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) is a tenants and employee co-owned mutual housing society, governed by a collaboration between multiple stakeholders, including the Council and employees and tenants of RBH. 

Context

  • Previously part of Rochdale Borough Council, RBH was established in 2012 as the first tenant and employee-owned mutual housing society. As such, RBH is driven by and accountable to tenants and employees – the members of the mutual.  
  • RBH has over 600 employees, more than 15,800 tenants living in over 13,000 homes in 52 neighbourhoods. Its scale of operations and activities, coupled with this ownership status, makes it a significant force for good. 73% of RBH’s employees live in Rochdale. one in four tenants are over 65, many with little savings. 45% of tenants of working age are receiving benefits, and one in five households have a disability or long-term illness.  

Community wealth building activity

Community-orientated governance

RBH was established in 2012 as the UK’s first tenant and employee co-owned mutual housing society. It operates legally as a community benefit society, which means its work must be entirely for the benefit of the community, rather than its members alone. RBH’s mutual status means that its strategic direction and activities are porous, democratised and shared, allowing it to understand and deliver solutions for the bespoke needs of tenants and community. For example, members of the mutual have access to the Members Handyperson scheme which offers free help for residents unable to carry out minor repairs and small jobs in their home. Here, employees of the mutual volunteer to assist older or less able tenants with a wide variety of tasks like assembling flat pack furniture, connecting a washer, changing light bulbs etc. Members also get discounted paint and other household DIY, repair and improvement items. 

Progressive procurement practice

 RBH proactively contracts with local businesses and local social and community enterprises and makes it easier for them to bid for work. RBH also expects its suppliers to provide apprenticeships and other social benefits through its 5% minimum social value weighting on tenders. In 2015, RBH spent £59m procuring goods and services. Of this, it spent almost £27m with enterprises within Rochdale, and over £21m with suppliers based in neighbourhoods in the most deprived 10% nationally. 


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