Housing First Fund

Homeless Link is delivering an onwards grants progamme on behalf of Comic Relief, providing a total of £450,000 in funding for Housing First projects in England. Five organisations have been awarded grants for innovative activities that will extend and improve the support they offer.

The Housing First Fund has awarded five grants and is now closed for applications. The successful organisations are delivering a range of activities including gender-informed support, an advanced peer mentor offering, systems change for improved multi-agency working, a trauma-informed counselling service and an Occpational Therapist role. For the full list of grantees and their funded projects, please see our blog.

Please read on for general information about the Fund and the grant applications process.

What we are funding

The Housing First Fund will test new approaches and build capacity within existing Housing First delivery in England. This funding will ensure that organisations have the opportunity to build on the enthusiasm, commitment and expertise that already exists in Housing First teams in order to extend and improve Housing First services at the local level, which will then inform our national network.

The programme was open to charities and not-for-profit companies in England delivering existing Housing First services. Proposals had to show how the funding will improve sustainability of the service after the grant ends. The funding cannot be used to create provision where the end of the grant results in loss of support. For example, when funding for a post ends, it cannot result in the caseload of the remaining team increasing beyond the limits recommended by Housing First England.

Activity that could be funded included, but was not limited to:

  • Specialist posts or development of existing teams’ skills/knowledge to extend or improve Housing First for a specific population e.g. young people, women, BAME, LGBTQ, physical care needs
  • Transitional support to improve routes into Housing First
  • Development of peer mentoring and/or community links
  • Development of co-production or other forms of representation with Housing First residents
  • New approaches to supporting people in Housing First whose tenancies are at risk
  • Systems change influencing e.g. working with statutory services to change how Housing First residents access mental health assessments
  • Improved access to health provision, and to social services and mental health assessments
  • Improved access to diverse accommodation options for people coming into Housing First

This is not a definitive list – projects will be responsive to their local context and to the needs of the people who will be accessing funded services.

Level of funding

Grants of between £20,000 and £100,000. 

Key dates

The Housing First Fund was open for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) until 5pm on 14 August. Only applicants successful at EOI stage were given access to the full online application form. The deadline for second stage applications was 5pm on 16th September.

Grants were awarded in November 2019, and grant-funded activity can continue until November 2021.

How to apply

Only applicants successful at stage one were invited to submit a full application. 

Further information

If you have an enquiry that is not covered in the application guidance, you can send your enquiry to fund@homelesslink.org.uk. Please use ‘Housing First Grant Programme Enquiry’ as your email subject and provide your organisation and contact name.

Grants Panel

Final decisions on grant awards were made by a Grants Panel, which included members with lived experience of homelessness and with experience of delivering and/or commissioning Housing First services.

Housing First Fund guidance for applicants

Housing First Fund - FAQs