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Abolish Empty Office Buildings (AEOB) aims to create affordable community housing from commercial property that has been left unused. We are based in Bristol and our first project will be here, but we hope to make our successful model available for use elsewhere.

The project aims to address the problems outlined on the issues page

We are funding our project primarily through a community share offer and will consider ethical bank loans and community grants if additional funds are needed.

Acquiring empty office buildings
Initially, we intend to buy a property which could be converted into flats of various sizes to house 10-30 people.

  • We hope the site will include outdoor space to provide leisure space and permaculture gardens to grow vegetables.
  • We aim to retrofit the building to be energy efficient, both to reduce environmental impact and to maintain low utility bills.
  • We are aiming for the housing to be run as a co-operative with outreach activities and meeting space.
  • The ideal building would have a ground floor space, such as a shop front, in which we (or the tenants) could set up a community enterprise such as a café, shop or workshop.

The AEOB team is working to find a suitable property for sale.

Develop a housing community
Our steering group has experience that will help deliver the project as both landlords and tenants.
We plan to gather a group of prospective tenants who will:

  • be diverse but share a commitment to living co-operatively.
  • be involved in shaping the project into somewhere they positively want to live.
  • contribute to further AEOB housing projects by sharing experiences and skills.

If this sounds like somewhere you would like to live, please look at our prospective residents page.

Future ambitions/projections
Once we have completed our first property, we aim to work on further projects using any profits and further community share purchases. We anticipate that we will be able to compete for bigger office buildings once we have experience setting up and running a smaller project. We envisage that some of the tenants and community groups from the first project will help with further projects.