Dot Dot Dot, a social enterprise which enables people to live in buildings that would otherwise be empty, has today announced that more than 140 years’ worth (or 229,060 hours) of volunteering has been carried out by its residents since it began recording volunteering data in 2015. This equates to at least £2.06 million worth of effort contributed to the voluntary sector*.
Dot Dot Dot is an extension of the property guardian model, where people live in buildings to take care of them on a temporary, flexible basis. Everyone it houses is chosen because they want to give time to charitable causes.
Dot Dot Dot’s approach not only benefits residents and the wider community but also property owners such as housing associations, property developers, local authorities, care home providers and charities. Its guardians are housed in meanwhile residential use areas, development sites, regeneration schemes, commercial properties or alongside residents in a variety of sheltered and supported schemes.
Dot Dot Dot’s focus on social impact and quality of service are the two key differentiators with other property guardian companies, and the property owners that Dot Dot Dot partners with gain from the social, financial, security and community benefits that its form of property guardianship creates.
Rather than property owners having to maintain or secure an empty property themselves, Dot Dot Dot and its guardians transform the property into a home and take responsibility for it, ensuring it is cared for and maintained during the guardianship period. They will also report anti-social behaviour and property repairs.
Residents are thoroughly vetted before they are placed, and homes are provided to those who need them. Guardians become part of the community they are living in, often a core value for many property owners, especially those managing housing schemes. They also contribute to placemaking schemes: creating new activities and positive stories through their enthusiasm, work and volunteering.
Dot Dot Dot’s overall approach also provides financial benefits for property owners, saving on business rates, council tax, utilities and maintenance costs, as well as being cheaper than alternative empty property security services. As an example, Dot Dot Dot saved one client an estimated £312,000 by managing 24 flats in a sheltered scheme over a period of 29 months.
Tracy Cullen, Chief Executive, CCHA, said:
“The partnership that we have with Dot Dot Dot has been the most successful of any relationship we have had with a property guardian company. All of the Dot Dot Dot guardians that I have met over the last few years (and that has been a lot) have treated our buildings like their homes – that for me is the difference. And of course, Dot Dot Dot provides homes at an affordable level, which obviously aligns with our core values as a housing association.”
Paul Augarde, Director of Placemaking, Poplar HARCA, commented:
“Where Dot Dot Dot stands apart is that its broader offering – the volunteering and the recruitment process – is incredibly meaningful. We have never had an issue with a difficult resident and the fact that the guardians become active members of the community is really important to us. Our relationship with Dot Dot Dot doesn’t feel like a service, it feels like a partnership.”
Dot Dot Dot continues to recruit both property owners as well as guardians. To find out more, visit their website at dotdotdotproperty.com.