Self-Help-Housing.Org is an online platform covering self-help housing in England and that, according to its own website, wants to:
raise the profile of self-help housing
map what’s currently going,
put existing projects in touch with one another
help develop new local projects &
increase the resources available to self- help housing
Self help housing is interesting because it complements the market- and the state-based approaches:
“Self-Help Housing” involves groups of local people bringing back into use empty properties that are in limbo, awaiting decisions about their future use or their redevelopment. It differs from “self-build housing”, which involves constructing permanent homes from scratch.
Self help housing groups negotiate with the owners of empty properties for their use and then go on to organise whatever repairs are necessary to make them habitable. These are normally groups of people who can’t afford to buy their own housing and whose housing needs are such that they will not be offered a permanent tenancy by the local authority or a housing association (e.g. all sorts of single people, couples, young people, refugees etc).
The properties are often “borrowed” on the basis of a licence or sometimes a lease, for a specified period of time. On occasion, future plans change and the buildings may even become available on a permanent basis.
Self-Help-Housing.org includes a directory of over a hundred self help housing organisations and more than 20 cases studies in England: