Canopy Housing and Giroscope are pioneers in a renovation movement that UK housing providers call “Self-Help Housing”. By renovating empty homes to provide affordable housing to disadvantaged people, the organisations tackle multiple issues for local communities.
Giroscope’s model is to buy abandoned houses, whereas Canopy has operated largely by leasing surplus properties. Together they provide a model that has inspired many others. Today, over 100 organizations in the UK follow their Self-Help Housing model.
In September of 2016 a group of practitioners from five different countries who were involved in self-help housing, empty homes/vacant buildings, and homelessness issues visited the not-for-profit Self-Help Housing in the North of England.
Carlos Muñiz Pérez from ENLACE (World Habitat Awards winner Caño Martín Peña Community Land Trust in Puerto Rico) attended the peer exchange and said, “It allowed us to understand and acquire new techniques for renovating homes, which is something that we have in common.”