Filling the Gap

Repurposing empty spaces to prevent homelessness in the UK and Mainland Europe.

Join our Coalition!

We believe there are many empty and vacant spaces lying unused across the UK, Poland and the rest of mainland Europe which could, through renovation and reconstruction, support homelessness prevention for the most vulnerable communities and help to address the escalating crisis in Social Housing. That’s why we have partnered with M&G to provide affordable homes through empty spaces. Upon the finalisation of our research, case studies, and toolkit, we will deliver a roadshow which will present our approach and background research to key civil society stakeholders in the three initial European markets as a critical component of homelessness prevention.

Join our Coalition and invest in building thriving societies across Europe today!


Groundbreaking Research

We are conducting research to identify the scope of opportunity that exists across the UK to replicate this approach in other cities and towns facing similar risks of homelessness. We expect to gain significant insights through the findings that will strengthen our approach and will allow us to move forward with the next steps of the programme.
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Living Case Studies

We will initially use three pilot programmes in London, Edinburgh and Warsaw as examples and living case studies. Each of the programmes will provide local opportunities for vulnerable people in these cities to live, learn and thrive
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An innovative Tookit

We are in the early stages of developing a Toolkit based on the insights from the research and from the case studies, and will provide guidance about developing and delivering empty spaces programmes that will be translatable and adaptable for other markets

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Our Coalition Partners:


Coalition Partners Logos | Habitat for Humanity Great Britain

Opportunities to be involved

Our aim for this coalition, led by M&G and Habitat for Humanity Great Britain, is to bring together government and public sector organisations, civil society and charity partners, private sector companies, social investment firms, philanthropists, research bodies and other Habitat for Humanity partners. We know this is ambitious, but Habitat for Humanity do have decades of experience in growing partnerships and networks to achieve more together.

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Empty and unused spaces

Over the past several years, almost every country in Europe has seen a drastic increase in the number of its citizens experiencing homelessness as well as a dramatic spike in the cost of housing. At the same time, several cities in mainland Europe have empty and unused spaces that could be re-purposed to support affordable accommodation for vulnerable people. According to a recent report on empty space in London alone, more than 20,000 spaces have been empty for at least six months, and 11,000 for more than two years. In Poland, there are 46,000 empty flats owned only by municipalities. At the same time, the housing shortage is estimated at a minimum of 600,000 flats, and additionally, 14% of households (5 million people) live in substandard conditions. It is estimated that in Scotland, there are as many empty homes as there are homeless people (34,000 homes).

That’s why we’ve embarked on a mission to renovate and refurbish empty spaces into decent homes for vulnerable groups. Our strategy focuses on working with partners, reclaiming empty housing spaces, renovating them with volunteers and turning them into decent homes.

Homelessness is one of the biggest housing challenges we face. We believe that the best way to tackle it is to stop it happening in the first place. With your support we can continue our work tackling homelessness in Britain and the UK, working towards a future where everyone has a safe and decent place to live.

Our work in the UK

Preventing Homelessness

Addressing a housing shortage and preventing homelessness in Europe requires a wide range of solutions within the housing ecosystem. That’s why, we have initiated a partnership that aims to introduce a critical component of homelessness prevention and reach more than 250,000 individuals from direct beneficiaries, to advocacy groups. To achieve our vision, we aim to collaborate with others to build an innovative and lasting coalition to bring non-traditional housing and homelessness prevention solutions to the market across Europe, enabling affordable homes to be built that would not otherwise have been.

Our partnership will help us scale-up this much-needed solution to homelessness prevention – utilising empty spaces to build future homes for vulnerable groups. Our vision is a partnership which ‘builds thriving communities’, focusing initially on three key pilot areas: London, Edinburgh and Warsaw, and in time seeking to expand our model across mainland Europe. Each of the projects will provide local opportunities for vulnerable people in these cities to live, learn and thrive. In addition, there will be opportunities for coalition partners to invest their time, energy and skills to support our partnership ambitions.

Our partnership with M&G


Habitat for Humanity are members of: