About Us

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We are Commonweal Housing; an action learning charity working to investigate, test and champion housing solutions to social injustice.

Since 2006, Commonweal has existed to enable experts and partner organisations the opportunity to trial and test new ideas, approaches and models designed to improve the lives of vulnerable or marginalised groups through property-based pilot projects.

We also like to dig deeper, funding and supporting forward-thinking research around overlooked issues or underexplored injustices, helping our partners to influence policy and practice.

Our work spans a spectrum of causes and issues, from domestic abuse to asylum seekers and young carers to ex-offenders. We are often most alerted by the overlooked, the marginalised and the complex. As an independently funded charity, we are able to investigate social injustices that may otherwise slip through the cracks of mainstream support and services.

How We Work

We work across three core streams:

  • Feasibility studies: where we offer organisations funding to devise and research potential housing and support models that could solve a social injustice


  • Property-based pilot projects: where we support or manage the financing or offer existing housing stock owned by Commonweal to bring a model to life, working alongside our partners from beginning to end


  • Research and evaluation: where we fund and commission new research into an overlooked or underexplored area of social or housing policy. We also commission independent evaluations of all of our projects

The Commonweal Model

Commonweal operates a unique model and offer. As an action learning charity, we believe in enabling frontline organisations to explore their ideas and ultimately trial and test their theories through long-term property-based pilot projects.

Commonweal owns a number of properties across the UK. By using our charitable resources, including properties leased to our partners at highly reduced rents, we test different housing models to find solutions to a variety of social injustices.

Partnership is at the heart of what we do. We prefer to enable and facilitate the experts, rather than be the driving force behind the ideas and the execution.

Behind the partnerships, properties and projects is the foundation of our model: social investment. We help our partners to connect with investors intent on helping to deliver positive social action. We act as a conduit for unlocking investment into new properties and thus new projects, and have a small but highly engaged network of investors.

Interested in working with us an investor? See how you can help bring new ideas to life and help marry equity with equality on our Partner With Us page.


Our Team

We may be small, but we are passionate about what we do.

Our team boasts a wealth of experience in housing and social justice across the public, private and third sector.

Our History

The name Commonweal Housing is taken from the family motto (for commonweal and liberty) of the Scottish housing pioneer, innovator and public benefactor  Sir John Mactaggart.

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