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Urban practitioners from seven different countries involved in empty homes/vacant buildings and homelessness will be attending a five-day visit to Canopy and Giroscope – two charities working in Hull and Leeds in the North of England.

From Monday 19 September through to Friday 23 September 2016 practitioners will find out more about this movement known as Self-Help Housing. They will see and hear about how homeless and vulnerable people renovate abandoned properties and bring them back into use. Those people who have benefited from these homes will share their stories.

World Habitat (World Habitat) is coordinating this peer exchange. David Ireland, Director, said: “These two charities have also inspired over 100 organisations in the UK to follow their Self-Help Housing model. This peer exchange brings people together from around the world to transfer these solutions and ideas.

“We hope this week long exchange will provide a practical, in-depth understanding of the technical, social and financial aspects of this award winner. Then as a result participants may adapt and transfer relevant elements into their own housing contexts.”

To follow the latest updates from this peer exchange please follow @bshf on Twitter and like us on Facebook at /worldhabitatawards

Notes to editors

Canopy and Giroscope won the World Habitat Award in 2015 for Self-Help housing in the North of England. They were chosen from more than a hundred entries from around the world. In October 2016 they will attend Habitat III in Quito Ecuador to showcase and internationally be presented with the award for their work.

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.

Full details about World Habitat Awards can be found on the website at


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