Canopy, the Beeston-based self help housing charity has won a World Habitat Award.
Canopy shared the prize with Giroscope, a similar charity working in Hull. They are the first UK based winners for over a decade. Both organisations are pioneers in a movement of UK housing providers called ‘Self Help Housing’. These housing charities train homeless and vulnerable people to renovate abandoned properties and bring them back into use. The completed houses provide low cost homes for homeless local people who are homeless or in housing need. You can find out more here.
Judge of the awards, Leilani Farha the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing endorsed the UK winners by explaining:
“They are providing homes to people in housing need in particular homeless persons, refugees and migrants or women fleeing violence. The houses provided meet many of the criteria of ‘adequate’ housing as defined in international human rights law. The engagement of local residents in their own housing solution has had positive results.”
David Ireland, Director of BSHF, co-ordinators of the World Habitat Awards, said of the project: “For many people Canopy and Giroscope provide a lifeline that other organisations overlook or rule out. At the heart of this work are people. Disadvantaged and isolated people get the chance to learn new skills and develop confidence on their way to being properly housed and employed. These two charities have also inspired over 100 organisations in the UK to follow their Self-Help Housing model.”
Canopy was formed in Harehills in 1996 and now works across the city. Since 2000 Canopy has been working in Beeston Hill from its base on Lady Pit Lane.
The World Habitat Awards were established in 1985 by the Building and Social Housing Foundation as part of its contribution to the United Nations International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Two awards of £10,000 are given annually to projects that provide practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems.