Homelessness Transition Fund - Questions & Answers

  1. Homelessness Transition Fund - what is it for?
  2. How will it work?
  3. Who can apply?
  4. What area does the fund cover? 
  5. What will the fund offer?
  6. What will it not fund?
  7. How will applications be assessed?
  8. How many funding rounds will there be per year? When will the first one start?
  9. Will my local authority have to support my bid?
  10. Are joint bids encouraged?
  11. Who will sit on the assessment panel?
  12. How much will the fund cost to administer?
  13. What can potential applicants be thinking about now?
  14. Where can I find out more?

HOMELESSNESS TRANSITION FUND - WHAT IS IT FOR?

The fund aims to prevent critical services for single homeless people from closing, especially those helping rough sleepers, and to find a sustainable future. The fund also aims to support the Governments ambition to end rough sleeping by rolling out the standard of No Second Night Out and other innovations.

HOW WILL IT WORK?

The £20m fund will run over three years, with money given out in successive funding rounds. We plan to give out £8m in 2011/12, £8m in 2012/13 and £4m in 2013/14.

Voluntary sector organisations which spend most of their income on homelessness services, will be able to apply for grants if they meet the criteria of each round. Grants will vary depending upon the assessed level of need but are not expected to exceed £250,000.

The funding criteria will be reviewed before each round to take into account the evolving needs of the homelessness sector. They will be announced in advance.

Applications will be considered on their individual merits by an independent panel that includes representatives from central and local government, as well as the voluntary sector.

WHO CAN APPLY?

The fund is aimed at charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises that deliver front-line homelessness services and are affected by reductions in public spending.

To apply an organisation or the lead applicant of a consortium of organisations must be one of the following:

  • a registered charity
  • a voluntary and community unincorporated charitable association
  • a community benefit society registered as an industrial and provident society
  • a community interest company
  • a social enterprise that reinvests its surpluses for social benefit

They must also be able to provide approved annual accounts and be able to prove that they spend most of their income on delivering services for homeless people.

What area does the fund cover? 

The fund is available in England. Services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can not apply for grants.

WHAT WILL THE FUND OFFER?

The fund will offer grants to help services secure their long-term viability. For example to support the costs of:

  • redesigning or developing services
  • expert advice
  • support or training
  • new partnerships and mergers.

The fund will also offer grants to help services pilot new ways of working that will help to end homelessness and make services more efficient. For example to

  • develop a rapid ‘No Second Night Out’ response to rough sleepers new to the street
  • pilot new approaches to engaging with entrenched rough sleepers, or
  • developing new ways of preventing people with experience of homelessness from returning to the streets.

WHAT WILL IT NOT FUND?

The fund will not provide an alternative to local authority funding. It will also not fund capital projects.

HOW WILL APPLICATIONS BE ASSESSED?

Applications will be assessed by an independent panel against a set of criteria, published at the start of each funding round. 

The panel will also be provided with assessments by Homeless Link of:

  1. Whether an area is in ‘critical need’, this will draw on indicators including data on rough sleeping, cuts and closures, statutory housing and evictions and repossessions 
  2. The steps taken by a local authority to mitigate the impact of cuts on homelessness services, and
  3. The ability of an applicant to deliver services that end rough sleeping.

HOW MANY FUNDING ROUNDS WILL THERE BE EACH YEAR? WHEN WILL THE FIRST ONE START?

There will be at least two funding rounds per year. The criteria for the first funding round will be announced by the end of July 2011. We plan to have made the first grant awards by the end of October 2011. We appreciate that this may be short notice for some services but we think it is important to get funding out to services as quickly as possible.

WILL MY LOCAL AUTHORITY HAVE TO SUPPORT MY BID?

Applicants will be encouraged to seek the support of a local authority, however local authority approval will not be a requirement to get funding.

ARE JOINT BIDS ENCOURAGED?

Applications led by homelessness services, supported by a wider consortium of community organisations, are encouraged.

WHO WILL SIT ON THE ASSESSMENT PANEL? 

An independent panel will oversee applications and the distribution of grants. The panel will include representatives from central government departments, local government and the voluntary sector.

HOW MUCH WILL THE FUND COST TO ADMINISTER?

The administrative costs of the fund will be met by an existing government grant to Homeless Link and will not come from the Homelessness Transition Fund.

WHAT CAN POTENTIAL APPLICAnTS BE THINKING ABOUT NOW?

How, if you are at risk, you can move to a more sustainable footing. How can you and others be working together to achieve the standard of No Second Night Out and no one making a home on the street and what resources would make a crucial difference.

WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE?

Click here to register online to sign up for further updates on the Homelessness Transition Fund.

If you have a query you can also email: fund@homeless.org.uk