21 Jul 2023
£160,000 grant funding has been delivered for innovative, community led solutions to housing and homelessness at a Community Foundation for Northern Ireland event being held today at the Braid Theatre in Ballymena.
The Community Foundation’s Community Solutions to Housing and Homelessness programme supports the development, testing, and delivery of new ideas and collaborations addressing the root causes of housing issues and homelessness, by working with a range of organisations and giving voice to individuals with lived experience.
Eight groups pitched their ideas to a full auditorium made up of groups working on housing issues, those with lived experience and others who voted to allocate up to £25,000 per group, in a Participatory Budgeting process on the ideas they’d like to see developed.
Speaking following the event Gemma McCaughley from the Community Foundation said:
“The Community Solutions to Housing and Homelessness programme saw eight groups, who successfully submitted innovative ideas on how to address the pressing issues we face in this sector, seek funding to support their programmes.
“The ideas were presented to an audience made up of those working closely in these areas alongside people with lived experience of housing issues or homelessness.
“An essential element to this programme is that those at the coal face, with direct experience of the myriad of issues facing our housing sector are centrally involved and have a key part to play in deciding what projects, in their view, can receive support.
“Each successful group received £25,000 to advance their project. Those who were not successful in the overall vote received £5,000 to develop their ideas further.
“The voting on each project is based on participatory budgeting principles – essentially people directly deciding how to allocate this funding through a process of democratic decision making.
“In essence what we will see is those who have direct knowledge and insight into the issues of housing and homelessness have a direct say in how they think these issues can be addressed.
“The Community Foundation are delighted to be supported in this programme by the Oak Foundation.”
Speaking after receiving funding Kate McCauley, CEO of Housing Rights said:
“Housing Rights works to prevent homelessness, helping people to find and keep a home.
“The programme brought forward, which we are delighted to see funded, will build and develop an immersive experience about what it is like to experience domestic abuse and homelessness.
“Alongside this, specialist training modules will be available to build awareness and empathy among frontline staff who work in housing and homelessness arena in order to understand better that challenges and experiences of those women who have experienced domestic abuse.”
The event was held in the Braid Theatre in Ballymena from 11am to 4pm on Thursday 20th July 2023
Thirteen priority challenges have been identified including rental, temporary and emergency accommodation, homelessness affecting refugees, asylum seekers, members of the LGBT community and young people along with issues including mental health, the stigma of homelessness and violence against women and girls.
The six groups to receive £25,000 are:
Causeway Rural and Urban Network
Mindwise & Counselling All Nations
DePaul Northern Ireland
North Down & Ards Women’s Aid
The two groups to receive £5,000 to develop their ideas further are:
Derry GP Federation
Tanvalley & Anaghlone and Veterans NI Project