Kenny Allan, is a Chartered Building Services Engineer, working in construction for 30 years, designing, managing, teaching and training. His experience includes residential refurbishment and redeveloping vacant properties for housing.
REBBHU is a community empowerment enterprise, seeking to repurpose empty buildings to create permanent affordable accommodation and supportable employment prospects for those experiencing homelessness. Its transformation of empty buildings into community facilities and sustainable housing is intended to enhance neighbourhood harmony.
REBBHU aims to bring together local authorities, community groups and care organisations to identify suitable sites. Working with educational establishments and construction professionals, it will offer transferable skills to homeless people, directly enabling them to create their own homes.
REBBHU’s positive engagement includes: Barnardo’s; Glasgow City Council; Glasgow City Mission; Housing Options Scotland; Mackintosh School of Architecture; SEHP; SURF; West College Scotland.
To provide the 12,000 affordable homes a year Scotland needs annually it is acknowledged that there is room for a range of solutions, including newer products.
Also recognised is that councils have a role to seek solutions and guide procedures for vacant properties in their jurisdiction.
Initial discussions with GCC led to a preliminary buildings selection. Suitable for residential conversion, they could provide some 300 housing units.
Due to being long-term vacant, some have deteriorated to an extent uneconomic to redevelop under existing models, highlighting the criticality of early intervention.
Accordingly, REBBHU is developing ‘A Community Guide to Repurposing of Empty Buildings for Beneficial Homeless Use: Strategies to reimagine existing buildings as vital community assets tackling homelessness’.