Habitat for Humanity offers a creative route to the provision of affordable homes in the UK which centres around the values we have as a charity. Now known as Habitat for Humanity Homes, this London affiliate was founded in 1996 (under the name Southwark Habitat for Humanity). We have since built or refurbished over 65 affordable homes, and impacted over 400 people living in supported accommodation by improving the environments in which they live.
We also have a wide international focus through our Slough office – for more information on this work please visit their website (www.habitatforhumanity.org.uk).
Building hope, building homes
In the UK we have three main areas of work:
- New Builds – 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.
- 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.
- Community Projects – Working 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.
At its most simple, our vision is a single sentence: Putting our faith into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build decent affordable homes, communities and hope.
In order to achieve our mission we are working on three types of projects. We are looking for: suitable sites to build new affordable homes, empty property that we can bring back into use as affordable homes and partners who can use our skills to improve the facilities provided for their clients.
We want to increase access for families to good-quality, affordable housing in their community. In the case of Great Britain, and this is most clearly demonstrated in London, the rate of home building is being exceeded by the growth in the number of households. This is causing huge problems with affordability of homes, even for people on above-average wages. These issues are compounded by a shortage of social housing units and the fragmented nature of the private rental market, which allows poor landlords to survive.
We see that the provision of affordable housing can be used as a catalyst, providing greater impact than simply dealing with the needs of the people who require the housing. We have used our projects to train young people, and the skills that they developed whilst engaged with the project will lead them into skilled rather than unskilled work. Therefore have the resources to deal with housing issues rather than become a crisis case for an overstretched social housing system. It is this holistic approach to homelessness that sets us apart from other providers of affordable housing.
Our values are founded on the Christian principles of the charity. We believe that everybody has a right to a decent and affordable place to call home and that the home is a key part of human development. We also believe that these values should be ingrained within the organisation and affect our relationships with those we work with. We will treat everybody who comes into contact with us with the dignity and respect that this foundation should engender. As we believe that right to housing is universal we allocate any housing on a needs basis and nobody is discriminated against due to their race, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
Contact us online or call David Clare (Business Development Manager) or Gareth Hepworth (CEO) on 020 7732 0066 to find out about our forthcoming projects and how you or your organisation can get involved.