Housing associations

Since our first partnership with Poplar HARCA in 2011, we have worked with housing associations across London and the South East to deliver property guardianship with purpose through periods of regeneration. During times of change, our property guardians retain a sense of community and contribute to wider placemaking efforts.

Case study: Soha Housing, Henley-on-Thames

Client: Soha
Project type: regeneration
Property type: sheltered housing estate
Duration: ongoing
# of guardians: 23
# of properties: 13
# of inspections: 113
Client savings: £52,649
Social impact: 1,252 hours of volunteering, the equivalent of >£14,000 of social value

Mount View Court is an over-55s sheltered housing estate in Henley-on-Thames, made up of 50 flats in total. It is owned by Soha, a housing association working in South Oxfordshire. 

Dot Dot Dot has been working with Soha while the estate goes through a period of regeneration, to mindfully and effectively house guardians in empty properties. Soha were conscious of minimising disruption for the existing residents in the estate, and we worked with them closely to propose a management plan that would be sensitive to their needs. We have used a staggered approach to house 23 guardians across 16 properties since October 2019 and ensure a smooth transition for current residents.

We tailored our vetting process to ensure that prospective guardians were sensitive to the context of their new community. We housed those who were interested in helping with activities like shopping, gardening, and befriending older residents as part of their 16 hours of volunteering per month. 

To read more about our experience of housing guardians alongside existing residents, discover how we secured an emptying estate  in Shoreham-by-Sea.

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Case study: Peabody, Thamesmead

Client: Peabody
Project type: regeneration
Property type: self-contained flats and townhouses
Duration: ongoing
# of guardians: 293
# of properties: 120
# of inspections: 2,676
Client savings: >£1 million
Social impact: 45,944 hours of volunteering, or the equivalent of >£511,000 of social value

Since 2015, we have partnered with Peabody to secure 120 properties, from 1-bed flats to 4-bed townhouses, across the 10-year regeneration of Thamesmead in south east London. We have provided inexpensive housing in the area for almost 300 guardians, who have contributed almost 46,000 hours of volunteering to good causes. More than half of our guardians have volunteered locally, supporting their neighbours through a variety of local community groups, such as a furniture bank, a residents’ group and early literacy tuition.

In 2016, Peabody announced its proposals for a £1bn regeneration programme for Thamesmead, an estate characterised by its distinctly brutalist 1960s architecture. Peabody’s regeneration of Thamesmead is now one of the biggest regeneration projects in the UK.

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“Dot Dot Dot has provided us with a service which we can trust. Not only do their guardians provide a presence and help make our residents feel safe during this interim period, they are fully involved in the community, offering valuable volunteering too.”

Gillian Dart

Thamesmead Regeneration Project Officer, Peabody

Case study: Salvation Army Housing Association, Booth House

Client: Salvation Army Housing Association (SAHA)
Project type: development
Property type: large communal building
Duration: 3 years, 4 months
# of guardians: 150
# of properties: 1
# of inspections: 200 room inspections and 48 site patrols per month
Client savings: >£1.4 million
Social impact: 34,273 hours of volunteering, or the equivalent of >£280k of social value

Booth House is a large residential building formerly owned by the Salvation Army Housing Association (SAHA) and is located in Whitechapel, east London. It was the housing association’s first purpose-built hostel, containing single rooms, ensuite rooms and self contained apartments. Due to its location and visibility from the street, the building was at significant risk of anti-social behaviour. Housing guardians in the building was the most cost-effective way to manage the risks of the empty site.

To manage the complex nature of the building, we put a dedicated team of contractors and six full-time staff in place. We also developed a number of processes and procedures to ensure safety and compliance, including daily, weekly and monthly building patrols to monitor the condition and safety of the building. Our staff presence was bolstered by a substantial number of Booth House guardian volunteer roles (e.g. floor monitoring and fire marshalls). This combination increased our reach and insight, and allowed us to identify issues at an early stage.

Our rapid mobilisation for property setup enabled us to house 80 people within two months of the property being ready. Over the course of the project, we housed 150 guardians, who contributed 34,273 hours of volunteering between them. We engaged closely with the guardians, providing a Booth House welcome package and monthly liaison meetings.

A strong and well-established community, the property became home to over 30 guardian clubs and committees, including Booth Haus, an art collective set up by three guardians, a wellbeing committee and a Spanish club. It also provided a meeting space for Bubble Club, an arts programme for neuro-diverse and learning disabled people.

Building repairs were managed jointly with SAHA. SAHA took responsibility for planned maintenance, core E&M systems and structural repairs, and Dot Dot Dot completed responsive remedials and repairs that were completed separately. Over the course of the contract, Dot Dot Dot carried out larger packages of remedial works such as correcting dangerous lighting circuits and bringing all bathrooms up to the standard required by local licencing authorities.

We handed the building back to SAHA in autumn 2021, after a coordinated effort from guardians, our dedicated staff at Booth House, our relationship coordinators and the Dot Dot Dot field team.

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