Self-Help Housing in the North of England


Self-Help Housing in the North of England

Policies and regulations Local policies
Urban Design Inclusion Equity

Main objectives of the project

This work is delivered by Canopy and Giroscope, two separate housing charities that train homeless and vulnerable people to renovate abandoned properties and bring them back into use. The completed houses provide low cost homes for local people who are homeless or in housing need.

  • Both organisations started in response to failed housing markets and a desire to match empty homes to people in housing need. The models they developed have become known as Self-Help Housing, and have been replicated and adapted many times.
  • At its heart the model involves organisations acquiring long-term empty properties, renovating them using volunteer labour and letting them out as below market housing.
  • The process of renovating the properties is in many ways just as important as the end result and both organisations focus on wider benefits for individuals and communities, including skills development, capacity building and social integration.

Canopy and Giroscope are pioneers in a movement of UK housing providers called “Self-Help Housing”, which has gained momentum and grown significantly in recent years. Together they provide a model that has inspired many others. Today, over 100 organisations in the UK follow their Self-Help Housing model.


  • 2015:


  • Promotor: World Habitat


Continent: Europe
City: Hull
Country/Region: Hull, United Kingdom