Helping End Homelessness - Rural

Roundabout Sheffield
Suitable for
Applications from partnerships covering rural homelessness in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Powys, or Pembrokeshire. Voluntary or community organisations, public sector organisations, and private sector organisations working in partnerships in rural areas of Wales. Partnerships must include the local authority/authorities covering the area. We will only accept one application for each local authority area.
Total available
£3 million
Application deadline

Application deadline: The programme is now closed to applications. The deadline to send us an Expression of Interest form was 3pm on Tuesday 21 June 2022.

If your Expression of Interest idea is accepted, we will send you a longer application form, asking for more information about your project and organisation, and we will ask you to develop a project plan. You will need to return these to us to us by 12pm on Thursday 24 November 2022

How to apply?
  1. Download a copy of the programme guidance notes
    We recommend reading through the guidance document to help understand the aims and priorities of Helping End Homelessness- Rural. You can download a pdf of the document from this link, but let us know if you need a different format by emailing, by calling 0300 123 0735 or by using text relay on 18001 plus 0300 123 0735.
  2. Complete this form
    Follow this link to the form which is in office forms, contact us if you need a different format.
    While you might not have a clear idea of what you want to do straightaway, we will put you in touch with other organisations in the local authority area(s) that are interested in being part of a partnership to develop a plan to tackle homelessness. We need your permission before we can share your contact details with other organisations. Working together is essential for this programme.
  3. As a partnership, complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

    The programme is now closed to applications. The deadline to send us an Expression of Interest form was 3pm on Tuesday 21 June 2022.

    The EOI form will ask for details of your proposed partnership, and the local, rural homelessness challenges that you want to address. While we will not expect you to have engaged extensively with the people the programme is designed to help before you send us the form, we will expect you to outline how you propose to work with people who are homeless and in temporary accommodation (the full definition of homelessness is available in the programme priorities tab which you will find above) and your partners to co-design your project idea.

    1. You will also be able to use the EOI form to apply for a development grant of up to £50,000 to assist you in developing a full application if you need one. If you think you might need a development grant contact us as soon as you can by emailing, by calling 0300 123 0735 or by text relay on 18001 plus 0300 123 0735.
    2. Please note: If your partnership received development funding in the first round of the Helping End Homelessness programme, you will need to provide us with evidence of significant change to be eligible for further development funding.
    3. We will use the information that you give us in your EOI form to decide whether to invite you to make a full application. When we assess your EOI, we will use any local knowledge we have about your area. This will help us to understand how your partnership could address rural homelessness and fill gaps within your community.
    4. We aim to inform you of a decision within four weeks of receiving your completed EOI. If your EOI is not successful, we will tell you why.
  4. If invited to continue, we will send you an application form, and ask you to develop a comprehensive project plan for your proposed project. We will give you five months to do this. If you have been awarded a development grant you will need to spend it all within the five months.
    1. We will offer feedback and tips on completing your project plan.
    2. The deadline to return your completed full application will be 12pm on Thursday 24 November 2022
    3. Please note that the application process will remain competitive at phase two and we will be unable to fund every project proposal submitted. We will use the information that you give us in your project plan to decide about whether we award you a full grant. We may contact you during the phase two assessment process to clarify issues and ask for further information.
    4. We aim to inform you of our final decision in February 2023. If you are not successful, we will tell you why.

Who can apply?

The programme was open to the local authorities in Wales who were not successful in the first round of the Helping End Homelessness programme. We only accepted applications working within one or more of these eight local authority areas:

  • Carmarthenshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Gwynedd
  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Powys

Our research shows that organisations need to work together to co-ordinate their approach, close off gaps and ensure they seize opportunities to prevent and tackle homelessness. We will only accept applications from multi-sector, multi-organisation partnerships. While this list is not exhaustive, we would anticipate the following types of organisation to be involved as partners:

  • Established local third sector organisations with experience of delivering homelessness services
  • Health services
  • Local authorities from the areas specified
  • Private rented sector
  • Housing associations
  • Smaller third sector organisations with relevant expertise
  • Probation Service
  • Police
  • Secure Estate
  • Minority ethnicity organisations
  • LGBT+ organisations
  • Social enterprises with relevant expertise
  • Mental Health services
  • Religious organisations/places of worship
  • Academic or research institutions

Partnerships and applications should cover one or more local authority area and must be led by a well-placed third sector organisation. Partnerships must include the local authority/authorities covering the area.

We only accepted one Expression of Interest (EOI) for each local authority area, including those wanting to work across more than one local authority area. This is because we want local organisations to work together to develop solutions rather than compete against each other for funds.

Co-design with those who will benefit

We want applicants to work with those who would benefit from their project to identify, plan and deliver activities that matter to them. This goes beyond consultation and empowers those individuals by giving them an equal voice in the process. While we will not expect you to have engaged extensively with the people who will benefit from the project at the Expression of Interest stage, we will expect you to outline how you propose to work with them and with your partners to co-design your project idea if invited to complete a full application.

We only want to fund co-designed projects. Applicants have the freedom to address our priorities for this programme in whatever way they identify as most appropriate through the co-production activities. However our research and consultation has highlighted some common areas that we expect to see addressed in your application and, given the scale of the projects that we expect to fund, we expect there to be multiple areas of focus within your proposals.

Programme Priorities

What is Homelessness?

We have defined homelessness as ‘not having a home’. A person who is homeless is someone who is:

  • sleeping rough
  • staying with friends or family
  • staying in a hostel, night shelter or B&B
  • squatting (because someone has no legal right to stay)
  • being at risk of violence or abuse in your home
  • living in poor conditions that affect your health
  • living apart from your family because you don't have a place to live together.

The causes of homelessness are varied and unique to every individual, but they may include:

  • parents no longer being willing to provide accommodation
  • being subjected to a pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence by a partner, family member or carer in their current home (domestic abuse)
  • a relationship breakdown where one of those involved has no alternative accommodation
  • poverty
  • inequality
  • housing supply and affordability
  • unemployment.

Helping End Homelessness - Rural will award grants to strategic projects that operate across one or more local authority areas from the eight priority local authorities. Successful applications will seek to redesign services to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurrent. They will be person-centred and delivered by multi-agency partnerships.

Who will benefit from the funding?

We propose that all of those who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, should be eligible to benefit from the projects supported by this initiative, and that they should receive support for as long as they need it, irrespective of whether they are on the priority need list or not.

We recognise that some people who are homeless and at risk of being so will have one or more characteristics that place them at greater risk. We expect the projects we fund to have considered how they will address any additional support needs they may have. This table, which is not exhaustive, highlights some of the characteristics that may lead to individuals needing additional support.

Characteristics which may mean individuals need additional support:

Veterans and ex-armed forcesCare leavers
Those leaving the Secure EstateFamilies
People from an ethnic minority
People that identify as LGBT+
People with addictions and those misusing substances
Mental health challenges
Refugee status
Seeking Asylum
Leaving hospital
Affected by domestic abuse
Affected by sexual violence
Affected by sexual exploitation
Young carers
Those not identified as being priority need
Those fleeing forced Marriages
Victims of honour-based crime
Young people
Older people
Disabled people
Single people who are homeless
Those who lose their home through an accident or natural disaster
Those with chaotic lifestyles
Those affected by harsh economic circumstances
Those with learning disabilities
People made homeless on a recurring basis

Addressing rural homelessness

Rural homelessness is much less visible than homelessness in urban parts of Wales, especially when it comes to rough sleeping. There is some anecdotal evidence suggesting that people are less likely to present as homeless in rural areas. As the data collected on homelessness is not necessarily accurate, it means that in rural Wales we don’t know how widespread homelessness is. We would welcome applications that consider innovative approaches to identifying and addressing homelessness in rural settings.


We want to fund projects that meet all of the following priorities. Your application should explain how your partnership will:

  • Bring together people affected by homelessness with third and public sector organisations, and the private rented sector, to co-design projects that redesign services to prevent and tackle homelessness, making it rare, brief and non-recurrent.
  • Provide sustained person-centred support that is additional to existing provision. This should recognise that homelessness is often just one of several challenges faced by those experiencing it. It should address and help them overcome the other challenges in their lives.
  • Develop and deliver activities that focus on homelessness prevention to reduce the number of people who are homeless in the future.
  • Reduce the discrimination and prejudice directed towards homeless people by encouraging empathy and understanding through a trauma-informed approach within public and third sector services and the wider community.
  • Develop a robust evidence base on effective approaches towards making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurrent that can inform project delivery as well as other policymakers and service commissioners.

Your project plan should also consider each of these areas:

Service innovation

Existing services focus on reacting to homelessness rather than preventing it, we want to fund projects that emphasize prevention. Our research has highlighted that too many opportunities to spot and prevent homelessness are being missed, such as prison leavers being released from prison to the streets; patients being discharged from hospital when they are known to be homeless; care leavers leaving local authority care without a permanent home. Services are often too disjointed to prevent this from happening, and we want to use our funding to improve collaboration between organisations supporting people who are homeless.

The Housing (Wales) Act 2015 mandates local authorities to offer support to people who are 56 days away from being homeless to prevent it occurring. We welcome initiatives that look beyond this to take an even more preventative approach.

Person-centred support

Homelessness is often just one of several circumstances which someone is facing, with one often contributing to the other. These circumstances are unique to each person and may include poor physical health; mental health problems; alcohol and drug issues; bereavement; experience of the care system; experience of the criminal justice system; domestic abuse; poverty; inequality; unemployment; or a lack of practical life skills.

We expect the projects that we fund to work with individuals to provide them with the wider support they need to foster their wellbeing and prevent homelessness from reoccurring for as long as they need it.

Supporting tenants and landlords in the private rented sector

Since there is greater need for social housing than the amount on offer, the private rented sector has played a significant role in supporting local authorities to meet the requirements of the Housing (Wales) Act 2015. Our research shows that private landlords are sometimes reluctant to offer tenancies to those at risk of, or already experiencing homelessness as they are concerned about the potential for rent arrears, and the multiple challenges that some prospective tenants may face. We want the projects we fund to offer private rented sector tenants the support that they need, while also supporting landlords to better understand the issues and signpost tenants to get the support they might need.

Trauma informed environments

The long-term impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on health, wellbeing and life chances is well documented. Many people who are homeless have been exposed to them and some of the behaviours and habits they have learnt as a result have led to eviction, or exclusion from services designed to help them. A punitive approach penalises service users for perceived ‘bad behaviour’. Ensuring that frontline services offer a trauma-informed approach instead enables staff to understand why challenging behaviours arise, and to work more constructively and creatively in addressing them. In turn this helps build staff resilience, motivation and job satisfaction. We want the projects that we fund to be based around a trauma informed approach.

Reducing discrimination and prejudice

Sadly, people who are homeless experience prejudice. This can take place in both the wider community and from the services they turn to for help. We want the projects that receive funding to embed appropriate non-discriminatory service delivery within the community in a way that tackles this prejudice and stigma.

What can you spend money on?

Development grants

A development grant of up to £50,000 is available to each successful EOI submitted. This should be spent within five months of being awarded, and prior to the submission of a full application. Development grants are for revenue costs only.

We think that development grants might be required to resource the intensive work of creating the links between statutory and third sector services, involving service users in project design and developing a project plan.

Full project grants

Project grants will last for between five and seven years as we believe that longer-term funding may promote service redesign and be better suited to the longer-term support needs of people the project is designed to help. We expect these to be mainly revenue grants, projects can also approach us to agree some capital costs.

The maximum grant size for applications is £1.5 million.

Given the likely scale and scope of the multi-partner projects that we hope to fund it is unlikely that we will be able to fund all the projects that apply to us for funding through this programme.

Evaluation and learning

We want each project that we fund to commission a project evaluation that they can use to:

  • incorporate lessons learned throughout the lifetime of the project
  • inform the work of other commissioners and policymakers in the field of housing and homelessness
  • add to the evidence base of ‘what works’ in making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurrent.

Our own research has shown that there is a need for better evidence to help inform the allocation of public funds to tackle homelessness to maximise their impact. We want the projects we fund to add to the evidence about what impacts most on preventing homelessness by evaluating their approach and sharing the learning from it.

Applicants should consider including an appropriate research institution or individual as part of their partnership to ensure that evaluation and learning is embedded in their project idea from the very beginning.

Throughout the grant, we will bring together projects, the people who benefit from them and representatives of other relevant organisations to share the learning from projects more widely. We will provide evaluation guidance to support those projects invited to submit a full application, to assist with their evaluation plans.

We can’t fund:

  • alcohol
  • profit-making/fundraising activities
  • recoverable VAT
  • statutory activities
  • political or religious activities
  • paying someone else to write your application.