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Charities ask architects and developers to help homeless people over Christmas

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Architecture for Humanity (A4H) and charity Crisis Over Christmas (Crisis) are once again on the look-out for buildings to provide centres for homeless people over the festive season.

Every year, Crisis sets up centres in disused buildings across London to provide homeless people with a place to receive basic requirements such as a haircut, a health check-up and even help them learn new skills, such as IT, to get them back on their feet.

Both A4H and Crisis are appealing to both the architectural world and developers to put forward buildings in time for this year's Christmas period.

The buildings they need will be 3,000-6,000m2, with large areas for communal use and kitchen areas or areas that can be converted into kitchens, preferably away from residential areas.

This year could prove particularly challenging following the change in the government's policy on rateable values for empty buildings, which has resulted in many building owners decommissioning their buildings.

Crisis is also appealing for developers not to commission their buildings, but to lend them instead to the charity.

Architects are needed in the broader sense. Last year many architects helped to transform the buildings provided into welcoming centres for homeless people.

For more information please contact Megan Yates, AFHUK trustee, tel. 07713157594, email megan.yates@techniker.ltd.uk, or Mick Bateman, head of Crisis Open Christmas, tel 07738149701, email mick.bateman@crisis.org.uk or visit www.crisis.org or www.afhuk.org.

by Richard Vaughan

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