WELCOME TO OPEN HOUSE

We’re a public talking shop on housing and homelessness. We’re not selling anything, but we are in the business of stories.

Walking through our doors you’ll find an interactive exhibition on housing and homelessness, a radical housing library and a public living room – full of games, toys, books, arts & crafts, sofas and other people for anyone to enjoy, for free.

Oxford has a huge problem with housing and homelessness. We see it in the rising number of rough sleepers on Cornmarket or in the struggle our children have to own their first home or in our sky-rocketing rents. Whilst the impacts of an unfair housing system are clear, the solutions are not.

We believe that good solutions start with great conversations. We believe that change comes from within and that finding ideas that work for everybody means including everybody in creating them.

Luckily for us, Oxford is awash with energy and ideas on housing and homelessness. We have a raft of community projects, student campaign, indefatigable local councillors and enlightened institutions that are all working to fight homelessness. We also have a vibrant community led housing sector, ready and willing to explore alternative approaches to providing housing for those with the most extreme need.

In Open House we have a space for these ideas to meet and to become action.

We’ll be hosting a huge range of events where we’ll welcome experts, activists, community organisers and everyone else, from Oxford and beyond, to help build collaborative and community based solutions to tackling housing and homelessness in our city. We’ll have talks, workshops, film showings, poetry nights, drop in advice sessions, art clubs, reading groups and a regular social space for LGBTQIA+ young people worried about their housing.

Open House is led by local architecture and design collective Transition by Design with support from Aspire Oxford. The project is community-led and volunteer-run project and will be open for one year. We are always keen to hear from groups or individuals who have ideas for events or activities. 

ACCESS

Open House is a single room shop with large windows that face out onto Little Clarendon Street, a small shopping street. There is a small kitchen at the back with a single, unisex toilet. We sometimes play music quietly but are happy to turn it off or down on request.

Our front door is 87.5cm at the narrowest point and whilst the shop is accessible to wheelchairs, at present we unfortunately are not able to provide a fully wheelchair accessible toilet. There is a 1.5m walk to the toilet from the nearest wheelchair accessible area. 

Directly outside the shop there are free 30 minute parking bays.

We are working to ensure that our events are as accessible as possible to all our visitors. Open House is a dry space and there will be no alcohol at events. We are happy to provide interpreters or BSL Interpreters but as a tiny, volunteer-led project we need advance notice. If you have any additional needs that you would like to discuss with us before visiting the shop, please email us hello@openhouseoxford.org

Please note that on Thursday’s between 10-5 the space is for self-identifying women, trans and non-binary folk only.