Habitat for Humanity UK (HfH) mobilises and supports communities to implement projects that help people in housing need to claim their housing rights, and create access to and overcome barriers to safe, decent and appropriate housing. This usually takes the form of a community-led construction, renovation or new build project.
HfH's vision is "a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to live and housing poverty and homelessness are eliminated. We believe that the home is a key catalyst in helping to permanently break the cycle of poverty."
Housing in the UK is absurdly expensive – as we all know and experience. We are the fortunate ones if we own our own home, regardless of the size of our mortgage. You might think their vision is impossible to achieve. It isn't, the average cost of a Habitat for Humanity home is just £1,235.
Arup have an established relationship with Habitat for Humanity through the International Development group and also partnerships in the Americas and Australasia regions. The new Charitable Partnership in the UKMEA will strengthen the impact of the Arup partnership and more people will be given a chance to break the cycle of poverty! The exciting new partnership will align Arup’s technical abilities to make a huge impact to Habitat for Humanity, both in the UKMEA region and globally. There a number of exciting staff participation and development opportunities. There are 4270 staff in the UKMEA (UK, Middle East and Africa) region, the majority being in the UK. The charitable partnership facilitates and promotes staff engagement from the UKMEA.
In 2013 10 members of staff attended a Construction day in London for the renovation of flats in Kings Groove, Peckham. In 2014 twenty staff attended two Construction Days in London as part of the Charles Chaplin Adventure Playground (CCAP) enhancements scheme. The main areas of focus were the construction of:
- A new bespoke ‘railway’ footpath
- An aromatic/sensory garden around an existing planter in front of the kitchen’s building
- New planting on an embankment by the water area.
- New planting in front of the proposed new office building.
- Foundations for a new office building
There are future plans to continue our involvement with CCAP during 2015. The design and build of a new Play Tower House and access has been discussed with Habitat for Humanity and CCAP representatives and is likely to take part in the first half of 2015 involving a good number of staff from concept design through to construction. News on this project will be announced in due course.