What is ‘Empty Spaces to Homes’?

Transforming Empty Spaces into Homes: Our Commitment to Preventing Homelessness


At Habitat for Humanity Great Britain, we are dedicated to addressing the challenge of homelessness prevention head-on. Our Empty Spaces to Homes programme is an exciting initiative that breathes new life into empty, disused, or dilapidated properties, ultimately transforming them into safe and decent homes for those in need.


Person with a paintbrush, painting a windowpane


We’ve been piloting and perfecting the Empty Spaces to Homes model over several years. By collaborating with other organisations that require our expertise in property renovation and construction, our programme has been helping vulnerable individuals towards a chance for a brighter future. Through this programme, we have already renovated properties to provide shelter for various groups, including military veterans, young people leaving care, and women fleeing domestic violence.

Our commitment to addressing homelessness is not limited to our work in Britain – by working collaboratively with colleagues across the wider Habitat for Humanity network, we’re exploring how the programme can be rolled-out in other countries. Our colleagues in Poland are actively exploring how the ‘Empty Spaces’ programme could be extended to support refugees fleeing the violence in Ukraine.

In the face of the ever-growing challenge of homelessness, overcrowding, and unaffordability, our Empty Spaces to Homes programme offers a real, tangible solution. Research published by Habitat for Humanity and the Empty Homes Network in 2021 revealed that across England, Scotland, and Wales, there are approximately 7,000 commercial and business premises owned by Local Authorities that have remained empty for over a year. These vacant spaces hold the potential to create more than 19,500 residential units through the conversion of empty office and retail space. This opportunity is even greater when you consider the estimated 165,000 privately-owned commercial and business premises which remain empty across Great Britain.


Why Your Support is Key

In a world where the cost of living continues to rise, and thousands of individuals are facing the Christmas season on the streets or on the brink of homelessness, your support of our work has never been more vital. At Habitat for Humanity Great Britain, we believe in the power of partnerships, community, and compassionate action. We invite you to join us in our mission to transform empty spaces into homes and to be a part of the change you wish to see in the world. Together, we can make a significant impact and create a world where everyone has a place to call home. Join us in making a difference this Christmas.