Dot Dot Dot is a social enterprise which provides safe, affordable housing to property guardians who volunteer for good causes.

Katharine Hibbert came up with the idea in 2011 for a socially responsible property guardianship whilst writing about the plight of empty buildings in the UK. Whilst there were other property guardian companies out there, none were focused on creating a positive social impact.

She believed that if you provided people with safe, affordable housing they would have more time and energy to do other things that mattered to them:

  • Time because not having to pay high rent can enable people to work fewer hours, or people can live closer to their jobs and therefore cut down on commuting time;
  • Energy because reducing anxieties linked to financial hardship, and unsafe or unsuitable housing, would mean people were in a better place emotionally to think about contributing to a cause.

Since we were established, we have given hundreds of empty properties a new purpose by turning them into homes for community-minded people who volunteer for 16 hours a month, enabling the buildings to become hubs of social value.

We work across London and the south east with a variety of clients – principally councils, housing associations and property developers. Our property owners get responsible guardians to look after their empty properties, resulting in better security and flexibility.

Guardians get well managed, affordable homes, so they can focus on what really matters to them. And communities get neighbours who use their extra time and energy to give back. We call it  property guardianship with purpose.

Ryan asked great questions and was generous with his experience and insights. I left the meeting motivated and I’ve been able to refine our strategy which in turn will allow us to create more impact. I’d totally recommend it to anyone needing some clarity.  

Peter Brown, Chief Executive, Dot Dot Dot