Emergency funding is available for frontline homelessness charitable organisations in the UK who are directly affected by the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

Funding body: National Lottery Community Fund
Maximum value: £ 100,000
Application deadline: 03/08/2020

The National Lottery Community Fund and Comic Relief are providing the funding for the second round of the COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund. The funding from the National Lottery Community Fund will benefit homelessness charities in England, while the funding from Comic Relief will primarily be allocated to charities based in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Homeless Link, the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England is distributing the funding.

Objectives of Fund
The funding is intended to support the homelessness and rough sleeping charitable sector, preventing closure, service cuts or staff redundancies threatened by increased operational costs and a loss of fundraised income due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.

Value Notes
The size of the grant available depends on the turnover of the organisation:

Turnover of less than £100,000: grants of £10,000.
Turnover of between £100,000 and £ 1 million: minimum grant size is £10,000; maximum grant size is 10% of the organisation’s turnover.
Turnover of between £1 million and £5 million: minimum grant size is £25,000; maximum grant size is £100,000.
A total of £5.5 million will be awarded in grants. Of this funding pot, £4.82 million is provided by the National Lottery Community Fund for organisations in England and £680,000 is provided by Comic Relief for organisations based in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Match Funding Restrictions
Match funding is not required.

Who Can Apply
Incorporated charitable organisations that have one of the following legal structures can apply:

  • Registered charity.
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
  • Community Benefit Society.
  • Community Interest Company (with asset lock).

To be eligible for funding organisations must:

  • Be working directly with people experiencing homelessness, with more than 50% of their beneficiaries being people experiencing homelessness.
  • Be small to medium sized, with an annual turnover of less than £5 million as shown in their 2018/19 published annual accounts. If the organisation’s income is close to the £5 million mark and they can evidence how this is expected to dramatically fall below this year, they can apply.
  • Have forecast unrestricted cash reserves of below three months following the impact of COVID-19 this financial year.

United Kingdom

The following are not eligible for funding:

  • Organisations that were successful in Round 1 of the COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund which distributed funding from MHCLG.
  • Organisations with a turnover of significantly more than £5 million.
  • Individuals.
  • Activities of a political or exclusively religious nature.
  • Lobbying or activity intended to influence or attempt to influence Parliament, Government or political parties
  • Usage of the grant to petition for additional funding.
  • Input VAT reclaimable from HMRC.
  • Goods or services that the organisation has a statutory duty to provide.
  • Payments reimbursed or to be reimbursed by other public or private sector grants.
  • Contributions in kind (i.e. a contribution in goods or services, as opposed to money).
  • Depreciation, amortisation, or impairment of fixed assets by the organisation.
  • Acquisition or improvement of fixed assets by the organisation.
  • Interest payments (including service charge payments for finance leases).
  • Gifts to individuals and promotional items.
  • Entertaining (entertaining for this purpose means anything that would be a taxable benefit to the person being entertained, according to current UK tax regulations).
  • Statutory fines, criminal fines or penalties.
  • Liabilities incurred before the issue of the funding agreement unless agreed in writing.
  • Purchase of buildings or land.
  • Refurbishments which significantly improve existing land or building assets.

Eligible Expenditure
The Fund is providing emergency financial assistance to local homelessness organisations to support them in mitigating the negative financial impact incurred due to the effects of the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.

Grants are available for either or both of the following purposes:

  • To help alleviate the financial impact of COVID-19 on the organisation. This may be because of a reduction in actual or expected income this year, and/or as a result of higher costs that have been incurred or are expected to be incurred as a result of providing services to beneficiaries as a direct result of the crisis.
  • To expand or adapt services in light of COVID-19 to support people experiencing homelessness safely and effectively.
  • There are no specific priority areas for the Fund but organisations should indicate if they will be providing support for specific groups such as BAME people, LGBTQ+ people or if the organisation is led by people with lived experience of homelessness.

Grants are to be used for revenue funding only and can be used to cover:

  • Investments in systems.
  • Investments in people.
  • Investments in infrastructure.
  • Dedicated capacity development.
  • Staff salaries.
  • Project activities.
  • Running costs.
  • Small-scale refurbishment.
  • Equipment.
  • Organisational development.
  • Contributions to fixed costs.

All grants must be spent within six months of receipt or by 19 April 2021 if this is earlier.

How To Apply
There are two application deadlines for the National Lottery Community Fund funding stream (for organisations based in England):

3 August 2020 (1pm) for decisions made in early September.
14 September 2020 (1pm) for decisions made in mid-October.
The application deadline for the Comic Relief funding stream (for organisations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) is 3 August 2020 (1pm), with decisions made during August.

Guidance notes, FAQs, and an online application form are available on the website of Homeless Link.

Useful Links
Homeless Link – COVID-19 Homelessness Response Fund Second Round

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