The Nationwide Foundation awards over £1 Million funding for empty properties

Creating homes for vulnerable people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness

Over £1 million has been injected into empty properties to create more decent affordable homes in the UK, thanks to new funding from the Nationwide Foundation. The independent charitable funder has continued its commitment to helping create homes for people in housing need by awarding eight organisations with grants which will enable them to renovate long-term empty properties.

The homes will be tenanted by people who have significant housing needs or are homeless, such as young people leaving care, those trapped in poor quality or over-crowded private rented sector accommodation, or people rebuilding their lives after domestic abuse, addiction or mental health issues. In many cases, bespoke support will be provided as the tenants adapt to living independently, enabling them to sustain their tenancies and overcome complex problems to stabilise their lives.

This is the second time that the Nationwide Foundation has funded community-led organisations to create new homes from empty properties. In the previous round, which began in 2013, the Nationwide Foundation saw huge societal benefits, which led to this further funding commitment. Bringing empty properties into use regenerates streets and improves neighbourhoods for all residents.

In addition, the projects funded by the Nationwide Foundation give local unemployed people opportunities to gain new skills through training, education or apprenticeships, as a way of supporting them into paid employment.

The eight organisations receiving funds from the Nationwide Foundation are:

  • Action Homeless, Leicester
  • Canopy Housing, Leeds
  • Community Campus 87, Stockton-on-Tees
  • GIPSIL, Leeds
  • Giroscope Ltd, Hull
  • Grimsby and Cleethorpes Area Doorstep, Grimsby
  • Leeds Action to Create Homes (Latch), Leeds
  • YMCA Glenrothes, Fife

Leigh Pearce, the Nationwide Foundation’s chief executive, says: “Across the UK there are many empty properties which could be transformed into decent homes for people in housing need. At a time when so many people are struggling to find an affordable home, it is absurd that properties are left empty. The Nationwide Foundation’s commitment of funding exceeding £1 million, will deliver much needed housing, as well as providing meaningful opportunities for people to access education and training plus receive support to gain employment.”

Mark Grant, chief executive of Action Homeless in Leicester, which has received a grant of £140,000, says: “There are over 5,000 empty properties in Leicester and the grant from the Nationwide Foundation will be invaluable in enabling us to turn some of these back into homes to help address the critical shortage of quality and affordable housing in Leicester for homeless people.”