Canopy Housing (UK, 2014-present)

  • Canopy Housing is a charity in Leeds (UK) that helps homeless people turn empty homes into their own housing.

  • Summary from their own site:

    • Renovations: Canopy renovates empty and derelict houses that have been standing empty for years, and transforms them into homes through the hard work and commitment of their volunteers and tenants.

    • Housing: Canopy provides decent affordable accommodation for people that are homeless or in housing need

    • Volunteering: Our volunteers are an enthusiastic, interesting and diverse group of people from the local community and local schools and they do the practical work to renovate the houses, including light building work, plastering, painting, decorating, carpeting and tiling.

    • Environment: Empty and derelict houses blight an area and can become sites for vandalism and rubbish dumping. The community focus and small size of the project enables Canopy to renovate the properties, maintain lengthy tenancies and to respond to anti social behaviour and maintenance problems quickly. All this contributes to quality of the local environment for residents.

    • Tenants: Canopy provides a ‘self-help’ housing opportunity for people that are homeless, which means they have the opportunity to participate in the renovation and decorating of their new home alongside the volunteers and can choose how they would like their house to look prior to moving in.

    • Community: Canopy brings together many individuals from different communities in the local area, including people from different age groups and with differing abilities. Canopy facilitates an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to interact and learn from each other’s experiences and skills. There is a real need for projects like Canopy that can pull different strands of the community together and overcome ignorance and prejudice.

    • Partnerships: Canopy has developed partnerships with local housing providers and the local authority and has negotiated lease arrangements on each of the properties, allowing us to work together to overcome the problems caused by empty and derelict housing.

  • Keywords: Leeds, UK, unused, vacant, dwelling, community, homelessness

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