£73,000 awarded for innovative housing solutions 

Foundation News

£73,000 awarded for innovative housing solutions 

4 Aug 2022

The Community Foundation has awarded £73,000 of funding towards projects tackling

housing and homelessness issues in NI. 

The Housing and Homelessness Innovation and Voice programme, supported by the Oak Foundation, supports the development, testing and delivery of new ideas and collaborations addressing the root causes of housing issues and homelessness in NI.

Our panel of experts and individuals with lived experience listened to each organisation as they presented their plans to the Community Foundation.

Roisin Wood, Community Foundation CEO shared with us her experience of being involved on the panel.”Covid has shown us that the Community and Voluntary sector can be agile, flexible and innovative. We must build on the best of these innovations and find new ways of working. 

“Three very moving presentations from very different organisations highlighted the importance of developing and delivering meaningful services responding to the needs of housing and homeless challenges in NI. In partnership with Oak Foundation we are proud to have invested in three innovative projects that focus on supporting female homelessness, refugee and asylum seekers and early intervention solutions.”

“Despite this, much more can be done to support individuals and families who find themselves in this situation. Recent news stories have highlighted the devastating consequences of living on the streets. We urge our political leaders to get back to power sharing and find solutions to financially support society’s most vulnerable, delivering a better outcome for Northern Ireland.”


What is the programme all about…




Three organisations who received funding are:

Horn of Africa People’s Aid NI (HAPANI) – £25,000

Challenge: Homelessness affecting refugees and asylum seekers.


Retreat Housing Project, will focus on addressing housing needs and inequalities for Asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. This project has three parts.

1.Financial generator service.

This will assist asylum seekers and those in a state of destitution in securing housing, through providing them with deposits and financial assistance to secure the initial agreement.

2. Online advice portal.

This will contain a range of advice and services to cover all needs and languages. Language barriers and a lack of education can result in asylum seekers and refugees not being aware of the support available for them or how to avail of this.


3. Advocate

The organisation will advocate on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers living in Northern Ireland. Working closely with local politicians and housing bodies to improve the housing and homelessness crisis.


Men’s Action network and Ark Housing – £25,000

Challenge –  Addressing early intervention as a priority challenge addressing Housing and Homelessness.


Developing an early intervention digital platform which connects individuals with local advice services and support. By identifying individual needs, the platform will provide information on a wide range of local services and support available, relating to housing provision, mental health support, financial support and others. The service user will use this app to increase their understanding of the process and remain central to the process as they move towards becoming rehomed.


Kith & Kin Financial Solutions, Voypic and MAC’s  – £23,000

Challenge – Addressing female homelessness 


Currently there is no long-term system strategy for transition to independent living for young females in N.I and support organisations all have their own standards. At the age of 18 a young female will move from care into independent living, often unsure of what to expect or how to adjust to this new way of living.

By co-designing a process engaging with young women who have experienced this transition Kith and Kin financial Solutions aim to develop a new, agreed set of standards (or principles) to improve the experience for young women.


All three projects have been on a 12 month journey with the Housing and Homelessness programme, run by the Foundation. Finding solutions and ways of collaborating to reduce duplication and streamline support services for those most vulnerable in our communities. The programme will reopen for applications in the Autumn.


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