Housing poverty in Great Britain

Building and renovating homes to help tackle the housing crisis
  • Over 60 new builds Over 60 new builds
  • Focus on shelters & community centres Focus on shelters & community centres
  • 54 properties brought back into use 54 properties brought back into use

We offer a creative route to provide affordable homes in the UK which centres around our values as a charity.

In Great Britain, we build and renovate properties to help alleviate housing poverty. We provide project management and construction expertise to ensure that vulnerable people living in the UK have a safe and decent place to call home.

How it works

We have built a variety of new build affordable homes for sale or rent using a variety of approaches, including self-build, volunteering and trainees.

With empty homes, we offer a complete service to the home owner, repair the property to a decent habitable standard and then rent it via a housing association at an affordable rate to those in housing need.

Dealing with empty homes

Our renovations bring huge benefits to the community. With the help of volunteers, we create lovely homes for those in need (nominations come from the local council).

We also remove problem empty houses from neighbourhoods. If we didn’t move in, these properties could be neglected for years, with little prospect of being improved by the owner.

Investing in communities

We work with volunteers to improve accommodation belonging to other charities who work with disadvantaged groups such as people in housing need, the disabled and the homeless.

Other opportunities are provided on these projects, with the local unemployed learning new skills from our expert builders on site. Volunteers from the local community and our corporate partners enable these renovations to happen.

Building affordable homes

Between 2000 and 2004, we completed 16 affordable houses in Peckham, South London, helping low income families achieve sustainable home…

Between 2000 and 2004, we completed 16 affordable houses in Peckham, South London, helping low income families achieve sustainable home ownership and involving them in the construction of their homes as a form of “sweat equity” and to build a sense of ownership and community.

In 2009, we completed a block of 12 flats developed on the site of the former Star of India public house in Peckham. Remarkably, this was achieved using 1,500 volunteer days on site to assist in the construction. The flats now provide affordable accommodation for twelve local families, many of whom had been on the waiting list for a home for several years.

In February 2012, Tony Baldry MP opened Donaldson Court in Banbury which is an award-winning 10 flat development built for young people in housing need, whilst also offering training on site to disadvantaged youth people (NEETS). This was an innovative partnership between Habitat for Humanity (acting as developer and contractor), Cherwell District Council, and Sanctuary Housing Association who will manage the units.

The £1.2m affordable homes project provided training for 18 young men and women aged 16-25. They were supported by a dedicated lifecoach from Connexions to assist them in finding employment following their training. 15 of the young people involved have either found jobs or further training opportunities as a result of their involvement.

extreme housing poverty in great britain london

Statistics on housing poverty in Great Britain

  • 320,000 houses needed every year (only 139,030 built in 2016)
  • Annual increase in house prices around 9%

Housing poverty in Great Britain consists of:

  • Poor housing conditions (unsafe, damp, cold, infested or lacking in modern facilitie)
  • Overcrowding
  • Homelessness

Building homes

bricks construction icon
Habitat for Humanity offer a “lease and repair” scheme to refurbish empty/disused properties using our own charitable funds, along with other grant funding where available. The finance for these repairs is then repayable through a rental stream based on the Government’s new affordable rent model.

This is either with council-owned property, or working directly with private owners. We work with the assistance of Empty Homes Officers within local councils.

Reclaiming empty homes

key icon
In 26th November 2013, Stephen Williams MP (minister for Empty Homes at the Department for Communities and Local Government) opened our recent project in Kings Grove, Peckham. This eight-month project drew people from all walks of life, with over 400 volunteers spending time on site.

This large three-story house has given a home to three single-parent families in need of the security of a new home. In order to convert this empty property, we worked with many community groups, including Housing for Women and the Waterloo Development Group as well as interior designer Cassandra Ellis.

Community projects

heart icon construction
We have carried out a number of refurbishment and redecoration projects in London for the YMCA and Solace Women's Aid. We have also worked on similar refurbishment projects for other charities, where they provide the materials and skilled supervision for corporate volunteer teams to get involved in this work.

On many of these projects, this becomes the backbone of financing the work, and the main workforce for completing it. Wherever possible, we work hard to get community volunteers, residents and charities involved.

Related articles