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Launching the Home for All grants programme

Chris Hancock, Head of Best Practice

I blogged before on our In This Together Fund where we have now funded 215 local charities across the UK to provide direct support to people facing homelessness. We have been so pleased we have been able to do this through the generous donations of all our supporters and the feedback from organisations on the difference this money has made is incredible. It is also particularly positive that we could fund many organisations helping people with no recourse to public funds through this emergency. The virus is indiscriminate in its effect and reach but entitlement to housing is not, with tests around eligibility and entitlement for government support meaning that many people are left without the care they need. So direct support for people who are not entitled to government funds and support has been and continues to be essential.

So, whilst what has been achieved through the fund so far has been great, we always knew that it will not, in itself, end people’s homelessness. As a sector we needed to provide an emergency response to get people indoors and into safety, however a hotel is not a home and the job isn’t done.

That is why we wanted to move on with the next stage of our grants programme to directly fund and support charities to deliver housing led solutions to ending people’s homelessness. When we talk about being housing led it is simply to take an approach which minimises the need for long stays in temporary accommodation and gets people into their own home with the right support as quickly as possible.  We don’t need more specialist accommodation, we solve someone’s need for housing the same way everyone else does, by finding a home.

As we always try to do we will share what we learn from this programme and draw on it for our campaigning and policy work. So if we prove something works we can get it scaled up and if doesn’t work we learn from it. We don’t underestimate what it will take and as all GB governments have set out we need a collective response and one which calls on us to work together. We need landlords (social and private) to come up with the homes, we need councils to set aside arbitrary criteria which excludes certain people and we need government to deliver the means and policy changes to realise the everybody in commitment.

We have been close before to ending the most visible form of homelessness in rough sleeping. However, the solutions we found then proved to be temporary and therefore couldn’t adequately withstand the impact of austerity and the cuts which were made to homelessness services. We need permanent solutions if we are serious about not going back and we look forward to showing what can be done.

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