Empty homes refurbishment project piloted in Brixton

Friday 2nd November 2012


A community regeneration project, conceived and co-developed by CoSpA and focused on enabling inter-generational skills learning and sharing through the repair and return to use of empty homes, has been successfully piloted in Brixton, south London.

The project involved a team of unemployed young people and older professional tradespeople, all volunteers, working together to repair and refurbish an unoccupied, derelict home, owned by a local social housing association, in just two weeks.

The young participants, all aged 16-24, were recruited via a local youth club and had no previous building or construction skills experience. Similarly, none of the tradespeople involved, all aged 50+, had past experience of mentoring or teaching young people on the job in this way.

Ultimately, as well as enabling the return to use of empty homes as social housing, the project was about young people learning and putting into practice skills for employment, at the same time as enabling older tradespeople to improve their own employment prospects by developing new work mentoring and assessment skills.

The pilot was developed and delivered by CoSpA in partnership with London Youth and Community Trust Housing, and the ambition is to now extend the scheme through linking with Lambeth Council and Lambeth College to embrace more empty homes and participants.