Call For Another Empty Homes Community Grants Programme To Bring Empty Properties Back Into Use To Meet Housing Need
It’s Empty Homes Week and the Government have just announced an extra £1.4 billion to create additional 40,000 new homes, but there’s no funding to tackle the 200,000 plus existing long-term empty properties, capable of providing much needed accommodation.
“Between 2012-15 the government financed a successful £50m Empty Homes Community Grants Programme( EHCGP) which created 1,500 homes from empty properties. ” said Jon Fitzmaurice OBE Director of Self Help Housing. Org. “Around 100 community based organisations were able to access funding to provide affordable rented accommodation for people in housing need, while at the same time often offering training and employment to local people and contributing to street level regeneration. Furthermore, they collectively raised at least another £26m in loans & grants to supplement the £50m Programme”
“The EHCGP was a game changer for us” said James Hartley, Director of Latch in Leeds.” it enabled us to move from 13 to 34 properties in ownership and has given us a reliable long term rental stream, making us far more financially stable. Plus, we refurbished properties to a really good standard and were able to provide more for training out-of-work volunteers, three of whom have gone on to become self-employed”
Community Campus in Stockton were also able to provide more housing their client group of young people. “The EHCGP enabled us to purchase 22 properties in Teesside ” said Carl Ditchburn, Director of Community Campus “ and we now own 66. Overall, the Programme enabled Campus to extend the training and support we provide for vulnerable young people and to extend our work with other small local community housing organisations”
“For less than 5% of the additional funding that has been announced, there could be another Community Grants Programme which would not only provide housing, but which would also result in a range of valuable social outcomes” said Jon Fitzmaurice.” we surveyed organisations in receipt of funding when the last programme came to an end and identified demand for a further £52m programme, we’re calling on the Government to step forward and put in place another Community Grants Programme”.
Read About What’s Happening Around The Country @ Empty Homes here
Locality have received funding from The Nationwide Foundation for an Early Stage Support Programme which offers expert mentoring and small grants to help affordable community-led housing projects get started.
It’s a programme aimed at helping community groups in England in the critical early stages of their project. It provides help with everything from choosing a legal structure to funding guidance. The programme has a focus on urban and deprived areas.
More details and eligibility criteria can be found here
Canopy Housing Project from Leeds and Giroscope from Hull have jointly won the BSHF World Habitat Housing Award for 2015-16.
Both organisations have been successful in making extensive use of empty properties to provide housing and in doing so have given disadvantaged people the chance to learn construction skills and secure employment.
The Award recognises projects that are; Innovative, Sustainable and Transferrable. Read more about The Award Winning Self-Help Housing Project In The North here
An organisation called Unlimited, which supports new social enterprises, is offering grants to people wanting to set up new projects. To qualify you’d need “to be a social entrepreneur with a venture creating strong social impact in your local area. You have ambitions to further grow your impact deeper into your community, becoming a catalyst for further social change”. They’re offering
- Three years of support from an Award Manager to grow your venture
- A full diagnostic of your social venture created alongside an Award Manager, to help you identify opportunities
- Access to up to £15,000 to meet those opportunities
It’s Empty Property Week, organised by Empty Homes, and the press is full of inspiring stories about how it’s possible to use empty property as an accessible way of securing housing for community based self-help housing organisations.
For more information visit Empty Homes website http://http://www.emptyhomes.com/empty-homes-events/national-empty-homes-week-2015/
Here’s an example of some good coverage from the BBC http://http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34930602
As part of their Building Futures Programme UnLtd have just launched a new £50,000 innovation fund for social entrepreneurs with ideas that can be put into practice to meet housing need.
Go to their website to find out how to apply: https://unltd.org.uk/2015/10/12/social-entrepreneurs-solutions-uk-housing-crisis/
The Nationwide Foundation will be launching a new £1 million empty properties funding programme on 14th September. Funding will be available to not-for-profit organisations bringing empty properties back into use to create homes for people in housing need. Organisations can apply for grants and / or social investments of £100,000 to £175,000. Applications will be accepted between 14th September and 1st November 2015.
For further details visit their website here;
Power to Change is a Big Lottery initiative was launched in late January 2015 which is developing programmes that will make a difference to community businesses. By the end of the year they aim to have provided £9 million of funding and support to community businesses across England.
The majority of this funding will be awarded through their Initial Grants Programme, an initiative that has been specifically designed to help new and existing community businesses that are in a position to make a step change in their journey towards long term sustainability within the next six months.( i.e. You are currently trading and seeking to become more sustainable OR you are looking for final funds to allow you to start trading within six months of a Power to Change grant award)
There are a set of six criteria which organisations/ projects must meet to be considered for funding through the programme. To view the criteria click here. If you think your organisation meets these criteria and would like to apply for funding you will need to read through the application guidance notes and complete an online application form.
Empty Homes Week runs from 1st -5th December. Further details about the Week and the Campaign to reduce the number of long term empty properties, being organised by the Empty Homes Agency, can be found www.emptyhomes.com/empty-homes-events/
At the end of March 2014 EHA reports that there were over 610,000 empty homes in England, according to the latest council tax base returns.
Locality are runing a series of Road Shows for organisations interested in bidding for funding via the
Big Lottery £150m Power To Change Programme. They take place in September & October and aim to
offer help and support, through workshops and one-to-one advice, to people wanting to set up and
run comminity led enterprises like self help housing.
Visit: http://locality.org.uk/projects/power-change/ for more details