PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release: 13 July 2012

Southwark Habitat for Humanity, a charity with a social remit to build and refurbish homes, has been awarded a £566,000 grant to provide 35 affordable homes in London and Banbury over the next three years.

The grant was awarded by the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG), as part of the current government’s Affordable Homes Programme, to reduce the number of long term empty homes by 3300 by April 2015.

Established in 1996, Southwark Habitat for Humanity has a unique partnership model to build and refurbish properties using volunteers from the local community and corporate partners with opportunities for construction trainees to be involved on a live building site.

Gareth Hepworth, Chief Executive Officer said: “The refurbishment of empty property allows all concerned to achieve a positive outcome. Families get the housing they desperately need, an eyesore in the community is bought back to life and society uses its scarce housing resources to the full.”


Current Projects:
  • Refurbishment of three empty homes in Dagenham.
  • Renovating empty homes, in partnership with South West London YMCA and City YMCA, by creating move-on accommodation for those ready for independent living.
  • Community projects to refurbish and renovate YMCA accommodation in West London and Charlie Chaplin’s Adventure playground for young people with physical impairments in South London.

Active Locations for Empty Homes Work:
  • London Boroughs – Kingston, Sutton, Merton, Wandsworth, Lewisham, Southwark, Greenwich, Bromley, Barking and Dagenham.
  • Regional Council Partnerships – Tamworth Borough Council and Cherwell District Council.

Southwark Habitat for Humanity is partnering with various local authorities, housing associations, community organisations and private owners in the above areas. As the empty homes programme continues to expand throughout the UK, Southwark Habitat for Humanity is continuously on the look-out for empty properties to refurbish that will house families in need.

– Ends –


Notes to Editors:
  • Southwark Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1996 in the UK and is based on Christian principles. Registered charity no. 1053213 and a Company Limited by Guarantee no. 3155218.
  • A video demonstrating how Southwark Habitat for Humanity works with corporate partners and volunteers on site can be viewed at .
  • Previous projects include 16 new build units in Gordon Road and Habitat Close in Peckham SE15 and 10 maisonettes in Banbury, Oxfordshire (high resolution images are available on request).
  • Around the world, Habitat for Humanity served 81,399 families in 2011.
  • London statistics (source: Shelter Housing Databank) – 74,553 empty homes (2011) & affordable homes delivered 14,210 (2010/11). Oxfordshire – 6,847 empty homes (2011) & 830 affordable homes delivered (2010/11).
  • The Government strategy for empty homes – Homes & Communities Agency –
  • Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) Empty Homes –
  • DCLG press release on the Empty Homes Community Grant – .
  • Further information about the empty homes agenda can be found on Channel 4’s Property Scandal website – and the Empty Homes website –

For Further Information:
  • Gareth Hepworth, Chief Executive Officer, Southwark Habitat for Humanity, 93 Gordon Road, London SE15 3RR. Tel: 020 7732 0066 (office), Online: Contact Us, Web:
  • David Clare, Business Development Manager, Southwark Habitat for Humanity, 93 Gordon Road, London SE15 3RR.  Tel: 0207 732 0066 (office), Online: Contact Us, Web:




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