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£40k of new funding has been released, following new research delivered by Homeless Link, to devise housing models to support youth affected by care, mental health, and school exclusions. Applications are open until April 19 and there is a webinar on April 9.

  • Commonweal Housing are offering not-for-profits up-to £10,000 each to devise new housing models
  • The housing models are specifically aimed at young people who have experience of care, mental health problems, or difficult education experiences
  • These groups were identified as being underserved by research commissioned by Commonweal

The social justice charity Commonweal Housing has launched this week a Call for New Ideas programme, a funding mechanism designed to help develop multi-year housing pilot projects. They are inviting not-for-profits to submit new housing and support model ideas. Funding is available for up-to four organisations who propose the most imaginative models, with each able to apply for between £5,000-£10,000.

Upon receipt of the funding, organisations can use the money to undertake further research to establish the viability of their proposed housing and support solution. If the feasibility study proves successful, Commonweal works with its partners to develop the idea into a housing pilot project running for up-to 10 years, which the applicant organisations manage and operate, with Commonweal purchasing properties to test the model in full.

Now in its fifth iteration, this Call for New Ideas focuses on injustices facing young people with difficult transitions into adulthood – one of Commonweal’s three policy focus areas.

Research by Homeless Link, commissioned by Commonweal, identified several groups of young people as overlooked or underserved by homelessness services.

Following consultation between Commonweal and Homeless Link off the back of the report, the Call for New Ideas is exclusively focused on models aimed at supporting young people over the age of 18 who have had:

  • Experience of the care system
  • Experience with mental health problems or are neurodivergent
  • Difficult experiences in the education system, particularly those who faced serial exclusion

The research found strong links between poor mental health and young people becoming homeless, with nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of young people experiencing homelessness reporting mental health problems. While there are similar links between neurodivergence and homelessness, there is a lack of significant lack of data relating to this cohort.

Nearly one in 10 young people leaving care become homeless in the two years after they turn 18. In addition, young adults with experience of the care system are also more vulnerable to poor mental health and involvement with the criminal justice system.

Young people who have been excluded from school significantly underperform in school exams and are more likely to not be in employment, education, or training (NEET) after school, resulting in long-term impacts that can contribute to homelessness.

Applications are open from 27 March 2024 and close at 5pm on Friday 19 April 2024

Commonweal is also running a one-hour webinar on Tuesday 9 April at 12:00pm, alongside Lauren Page-Hammick, a Homeless Link Associate, where they will discuss the application process and research findings in more detail. To register, please click here.

Find out more about the grants programme Book onto the webinar Read the Homeless Link research