Better Temporary Accommodation for Londoners is a strategic initiative funded by Trust for London and Oak Foundation that aims to strengthen the voice, connections and influence of people in Temporary Accommodation (TA) and ultimately to improve people’s experience of TA. The programme will run from 2022-25, with the first grants awarded in June 2022.
We want stays in Temporary Accommodation (TA) to be as short, safe and healthy as possible. We are working to:
- strengthen the voices of Londoners with experience of TA and organisations working with them
- build the capacity and connections of organisations working to create change
- strengthen and improve access to support for people living in TA
Why change is needed
There are not enough organisations advocating for the large numbers of Londoners living in temporary and insecure housing. Those that do are often small, very local (for example working with just one block or estate) and struggling with limited resources. They know their work is part of a much wider issue, but can find it hard to connect with others or achieve change beyond individual cases.
People living in TA may also struggle to know where or how to make their voices heard, and to access support and services. At the same time, policy- and decision-makers say they want to hear from Londoners in TA and organisations working with them, and are willing to refer people to support where it is available
How it works
To begin with, the initiative will offer:
- Grants of £30,000 - £150,000 for organisations working for change with and for people with experience of TA (open for applications - deadline 17 May)
- Networking and development support, including connections to wider work, opportunities to meet decision-makers and access to consultancy or training (open for proposals - deadline 17 May)
- Legal education support for organisations and individuals to know their rights
- External evaluation input
- Micro-grants (under £1000), as an additional resource for small (maximum turnover £300,000) and unincorporated organisations
Once these are in place, we will expand the support offering to include further capacity building and a policy advisory board. We hope to offer a smaller, second phase of grants in late 2023.
Who is this initiative for?
We are looking to fund a broad mix of London-based organisations whose work strengthens the voice and connections for change of Londoners in TA. We are particularly keen to hear from organisations who centre people with experience of TA in the design and delivery of their work, and may themselves be led by minoritised communities. Find out more about the requirements in the guidelines below.
Find out more
Read the funding guidelines for Better Temporary Accommodation Initiative grantsDownload Better Temporary Accommodation Initiative - grants guidelines
Read the tender document for Temporary Accommodation Networking SupportDownload Temporary Accommodation Networking Support Tender
Watch the Information Event
In this recording of our information event, Programme Lead Susie Dye discusses the aims of the Better Temporary Accommodation Initiative, answers questions and offers guidance for potential applicants.
Can smaller organisations with income below £300,000 apply for the £30,000-£150,000 grants?
Yes. There is no minimum income threshold for applications, and we would encourage smaller organisations to consider applying. The main criterion is that organisations must have been constituted for at least six months, and have a track record of working to support and advocate for people in TA.
Can we apply for this if we hold an existing grant from the Trust?
Yes; as this is a special initiative distinct from the main grants fund.
Can larger organisations apply in partnership with smaller organisations?
Yes, as long as the prioritisation criteria is followed. We will also look to see what resources the larger organisation will contribute.
Can larger organisations apply for the networking support role, in partnership with a smaller organisation?
Yes. The larger organisations rule is particularly for grant funding as we expect funding will be competitive.
We discussed previously applying for more than £150k to work across multiple boroughs. Is that still possible?
Yes, partnerships can apply for more. However, as we are expecting funding to be competitive, we expect to make at most one grant over £150k. This is in order to ensure we can meet our expectation of funding 6-10 different grants, with a mix of larger and smaller grant sizes.
I'm unsure what qualifies as TA, how do I know if our work is eligible?
The definition of TA being used for the initiative is deliberately broad, as practice varies considerably and we want to focus on people's experiences above all. Typically however, most people who are supported in this TA work will have, at some point, been placed in homeless accommodation by a statutory authority, whether that’s the local authority under priority need, Section 17, Home office or similar. The local authority may have then discharged the duty.
When will the microgrants and legal education streams be opening?
We will be commissioning these streams next, with the intention of opening them in the Autumn.
What kind of advice can be funded through the initiative?
The Trust's approach to advice has been to fund advice at a specialist level (including housing advice) from larger organisations, while being willing to support more generalist advice and signposting from smaller organisations. That will continue to be the guiding format for this initiative.
If the advice sought is wraparound support for other work then we will look at it on a case-by-case basis.
We know that using the law is one approach to getting change and so are willing to fund legal advice. However, it is only one approach and we’re interested in funding a mix of approaches. Legal and human rights education is another example that we would fund.
We also encourage organisations to consider applying for work where they’ve got a track record, as we’re willing to make core grants through this funding.
Would work that is specific to certain types of temporary tenant such as refugees or property guardians be considered?
In such cases we would consider whether any findings would be specific to such work, or whether the learning and experiences involved could apply to other kinds of temporary tenant. One of the goals of the initiative is to create networks of people who learn from each other, so there is scope for specificity if it supports that objective.
Are you willing to fund casework and employability support for individuals through the initiative?
We are willing to fund support which people need in order to get involved in wider work of campaigning, research etc. However, our focus is on long-term systemic change, so we have to limit how much and what kind of work with individuals we fund, and have said we won't fund bids that are only for this. Our theory of how change will happen requires bringing people and organisations together and sharing what they know from their experiences and case work with decision-makers and influencers, allowing them to address the root cause of individual need.
Would you fund awareness raising work, e.g. with school children?
We would consider work to change practices and attitudes that are having a negative effect on those in TA. This could include work to get school teachers to campaign on changing attitudes, or to influence GPs and the health system or to change employer practices. The Trust tends not to fund work during school hours with school children.
Will you fund organisations applying in partnership with others?
We will likely fund some partnership work through grants, but we may also fund some single organisations where partnership working will be supported to develop through the operation of the wider initiative.
Additionally, partnership working that reaches down to the grassroots to strengthen access will be seen as a strength and we’d encourage organisations to devote appropriate resources to this.
Can an organisation be part of more than one bid?
Organisations can only lead one bid, but can be part of more than one. However, they may not be likely to receive funding from more than one bid, in order to ensure a diverse mix of organisations is funded.
Are there any examples of good practice that would be relevant for organisations drafting bids?
We have included some examples of work we see as good practice in the guidelines; these give an indication of what is on our radar. We’re also aware of the London Councils Setting the Standard work to put standards in place around TA Commissioning.
We also hope that organisations will share practice with each other through the initiative, and this could be one of the roles of the Networking and Development Support.
Get in touch
Susie Dye is leading the Trust's work around TA. Get in touch if you have questions or feedback about the initiative.
Last updated: April 2022