Dot Dot Dot and LB Brent turn empty flats into inexpensive homes in South Kilburn

Empty flats in a housing estate scheduled for demolition as part of a major regeneration programme are now inexpensive homes for people who volunteer, thanks to a new partnership between Dot Dot Dot and the London Borough of Brent.

The regeneration of South Kilburn is a 15-year project aiming to deliver over 2,400 new homes as part of a sustainable and mixed neighbourhood. Flats are vacated to prepare blocks for demolition. However, leaving them empty can risk them becoming the target of anti-social behaviour or can mean maintenance issues that could affect existing residents aren’t spotted.

Dot Dot Dot and LB Brent are working together to house property guardians in vacant flats. Each Dot Dot Dot guardian commits to volunteering at least 16 hours a month for good causes, which means every Dot Dot Dot project makes a positive social impact. Since Dot Dot Dot was founded in 2011, our guardians have volunteered nearly 365,000 hours – the equivalent of 208 years worked – which is worth more than £4.6m to the charitable sector.

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet member for housing and welfare reform at LB Brent, said: “The first temporary guardian was housed in South Kilburn in April last year, and there are now 19 guardians across four different blocks. They will be joined by dozens more over this year as the regeneration progresses. They have already volunteered over 1,500 hours to good causes, including at local community kitchens, Covid-19 vaccination centres and the Compass network which represents the LGBT+ community within the armed forces.”

Evie Power-Charles, who grew up in Queen’s Park and Kilburn, has recently become a Dot Dot Dot guardian: “I wanted to be a guardian to be able to live in a flat that was a reasonable price, that I could put my own stamp on as most private tenancy agreements don’t let you decorate. I was happy to move into an area I was familiar with.

“I really enjoy my time volunteering at a local community kitchen. When I was looking at places to volunteer, I felt it was important to go as local as possible and get to know the people in my area. It helped me get settled in when I moved in and made me feel part of the community.”

Abi Carter, head of growth and partnerships at Dot Dot Dot, said “We’re delighted to be working with LB Brent at South Kilburn because we can make a really positive impact. It’s good to be able to provide housing to people rather than just leave spaces empty, and they have embraced the opportunity to contribute to the local community through volunteering with open arms.”


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We deliver benefits far beyond just empty property security. Our commitment to achieving social value in the areas where we work benefits our clients, the guardians we house and the local communities in which they live.

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