Charity fills up empty homes to tackle housing crisis.

Action Homeless have brought 72 units across 23 properties back into use in Leicester with government-backed scheme.

A charity has brought more than 70 empty homes back in to use in their bid to end homelessness in Leicester.

Action Homeless have transformed lives by renovating 72 units across 23 properties, well on their way to their target of refurbishing 100 accommodation spaces across the city by the end of 2018.

After identifying a lack of affordable housing in the city, the charity teamed up with partners to track down the owners of empty properties and worked with them to renovate the units to a high standard.

“Our pledge is that our accommodation spaces remain affordable to tenants, so our rents are set in line with local housing allowance rates”

To carry out the work, Action Homeless’ sister social enterprise Action Trust enabled tenants, many who were previously homeless, to carry out maintenance work, giving them a job to help get their life on the right track.

Once up to scratch, the property is rented out at an affordable rate while tenants are offered support with either personal or financial problems.

Bringing empty homes back into use has been a key focus for The Big Issue since we launched our Fill ‘Em Up campaign last year.

Homeless Action helped Luke to stop sofa surfing and to refurbish his own home. Image first published on

Action Homeless, who have received funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government and The Nationwide Foundation, have helped people like Luke with the scheme. The 31-year-old was referred to the charity by the local council in 2015 after a split with his partner left him sofa surfing and unable to see his four-year-old daughter as a result.

Luke teamed up with three other tenants to renovate a house with his own space as well as an en-suite bathroom, a kitchen and a communal living room.

Luke said: “This house is giving me a fantastic leg up and a safety net while I save the funds to move on. I want a job and I want to be able to provide for my daughter. Action Homeless haven’t just put a roof over my head, they’re also helping me look and apply for jobs, so they’re really helping me get back on my feet.

Eilidh Stringer, funding manager at Action Homeless, added: “The project benefits everyone because there are a lot of people out there who don’t have a home at all, and nobody likes to live next door to an empty house as it runs the risk of attracting anti-social behaviour and falling into disrepair.

It just made sense to marry the two problems together and create a viable solution. Our pledge is that our accommodation spaces remain affordable to tenants, so our rents are set in line with local housing allowance rates.”

The above article by Liam Geraghty first published on in Dec, 2017.