Join us in the fight against poverty housing by helping us to identify disused and empty buildings in Great Britain.
Disclaimer: This page and the Empty Space Spotter app is currently only active for participants in our selected BETA testing group.
About the App
Development of the Empty Space Spotter app would not have been possible without the dedication and determination of our partner, M&G who have worked hand in hand with app development company Bubble IO to produce this refined and intuitive app.
Coming Up With The Idea
As part of our wider Empty Spaces Project, M&G funded research that was conducted by The Empty Homes Network that explored the current opportunities available to reutilise socially-owned vacant buildings and spaces, for use as shelter for those at risk of homelessness across England, Wales and Scotland.
This groundbreaking research produced startling statistics such as: On average, each Council owns 18 commercial or business properties that have remained vacant for over 12 months.
The report highlights the sheer scale of empty spaces and motivates us to to see that as many of these spaces as possible are turned into decent shelter.
Why We Need Your Support
It was clear from the research that we not only needed to know how many vacant buildings there are, but that we also where they are. And so, the Empty Space Spotter app was born.
With the support of our app users we hope to collect more data on empty spaces than we ever could hope to do on our own.
What Empty Space Spotter?
The idea behind the application is to essentially use power of the crowd to pull together a database of empty spaces. The aim is to influence people who can use this tool to identify and make an argument for better use of empty spaces.
One of the biggest challenges of reutilising socially-owned vacant buildings and spaces, for use as accommodation for those at risk of homelessness is not knowing where these empty spaces are. This makes it is difficult to advocate for the use of empty spaces to homes. With the information we gather from this app, it will be easier for organisations and civil societies to replicate Empty Spaces to Homes model across UK.
With the number of homeless people in the UK and the use of temporary accommodation on the rise, coupled with the number of available properties declining, we need to become increasingly innovative in our approach to both house-building, and the repurposing of existing buildings and housing stock.
Ready to download the app?
Here is a quick step by step guide to get you on your way to helping us identify disused buildings.
Stay Up To Date
The current version of the app is 1.0 and is in constant development. Enable notifications so that you can stay up to date and download any new versions as they are released. We have lots of new features in the works that we don’t want you to miss out on!
Our Wider Work
To hear about the work that Habitat for Humanity great Britain are doing in Great Britain and around the world please subscribe to our e-newsletter. We will also be sharing updates on the empty spaces that you report in our newsletters.