Freegle Focus: Social Housing

Office furniture
Reuse best practice
Supporting the community

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Freegle can help.

Freegle works with local authorities, social housing providers and landlords to help create stable and sustainable social housing tenancies. When Freegle is visible to tenants at key points during their tenancy, councils and their tenants can be helped in a number of ways. Think FREEGLE!

What is Freegle?

Freegle is the UK’s biggest and friendliest FREE online reuse network. Freegle has over 3.6 million members in more than 460 local communities.

Why reuse?

Freegle helps people give and get useful things for free in their local community. Some people have stuff they don’t want any more. Other people would like things they don’t have. Freegle matches them up. Reuse has countless environmental, social and financial benefits and helps to create a more circular economy.

How to get started

You can freegle items from the comfort of your own home. Visit to find your local community. You can also download the app:

Don’t throw it away, give it away! If it’s free and legal then it can be freegled.

Linking to Freegle

Freegle is working with local authorities and other social housing providers to find new ways of signposting tenants towards their local Freegle communities.

By highlighting Freegle on existing communication channels such as housing management systems, noticeboards, newsletters and other correspondence with residents, we can spread the Freegle message to tenants at crucial points in their tenancies.

Get in touch with us at to find out more about all the ways Freegle can be signposted.

Software integration

In 2021, Freegle successfully integrated with Rubixx’s Housing Management System software to ensure that Freegle was visible to tenants throughout key points in the tenancy process. This could be easily replicated at no cost in other housing management software. Contact us at to discuss the options. To find out more about the software integration project read the article from tech in housing e-zine .digitalbark.

Online dating for stuff: How Freegle saves the planet and alleviates poverty at the click of a button (see p.19)

Bulky Waste & Furniture Poverty

When there isn’t enough money for fuel or food – where does the money for furniture and appliances come from?

Bulky items like sofas, tables, chairs and mattresses are frequently taken to Household Waste Recycling Centres or sent for disposal via bulky waste collection services. Research from WRAP shows that more than half of those items could be reused with no or minimal ‘preparation for reuse’ required.

The 2021 ‘No Place Like Home’ report from End Furniture Poverty indicated that social housing tenants, with little or no furniture, have to rely on a patchwork of options to acquire it (primarily local authority grants, charity grants, discretionary funds, friends and family, social security advances, and moderate to high interest lenders). This collage of options, however, appears to be significantly failing to provide adequate material support for those most in need.

To find out more about the issues of Bulky Waste and Furniture Poverty and how these affect local authorities, check out Freegle’s report: Freegle Focus Report: Bulky Waste – making room for reuse.

 Millions of families are living in Furniture Poverty across the UK, unable to afford to buy or replace essential furniture items, items which local authorities are collecting through bulky household waste contracts and then, in many cases, disposing of. If local authorities take good quality, preloved furniture out of the waste stream, they can be used to help families in a time of need, and potentially ease pressures on other frontline services.

Claire Donovan
Head of Policy, Research & Campaigns
End Furniture Poverty

Freegle – Saving £££s

Local authorities can save significant amounts in disposal costs when they successfully facilitate the diversion of bulky waste and other items away from the waste stream and into reuse.

 Wandsworth Freegle and Richmond-upon-Thames Freegle are two extremely active groups operating across these boroughs. Every tonne of bulky waste diverted from disposal by this freegling activity saves between £120-160 in disposal costs. Local residents initiated the groups, Freegle set them up and all we had to do was link to them on the bulky waste pages of the Councils’ web sites. The local group memberships snowballed from there. The tonnages reused over the last 12 months by these two communities combined is 149 tonnes with associated disposal cost savings of between £17,880 & £23,840.

Michael Singham
Waste Strategy Manager
Richmond and Wandsworth Councils

Get involved, support reuse

Sign up to our newsletter for councils: Freegle Bites.

Get in touch at: to find out how you can support more reuse in your community.

Visit our Toolkit for local authorities where you will find information, advice and resources:

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