Homelessness prevention funds 2023/24
We have agreed a £1.67m grant budget to help prevent rough sleeping and single homelessness in 2023/24.
This investment in homelessness prevention grants supportsthe Oxfordshire Homeless Alliance and additional services within Oxford itself.
Launched in April 2022, the Oxfordshire Homeless Alliance is a £3.8m ‘housing led’ service with the aim of preventing and reducing rough sleeping across the county. The Alliance is jointly commissioned by Oxfordshire’s six councils and the Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Integrated Care Service. It brings together the majority of outreach, accommodation and prevention services in a system-wide approach to tackling homelessness.
Traditionally, people who have experienced rough sleeping in the UK have tended to move from the streets to independent living in stages. This approach assumes that people need to engage with support services before they are ready to move on to the next stage.
Housing led approaches – like Housing First – instead say that people should be offered permanent housing immediately and without preconditions like engaging with treatment services. Wraparound support can then be provided to help them maintain their tenancies.
Our annual contribution to Oxfordshire Homeless Alliance is £1,911,399. This includes £968,580 in homelessness prevention grants, with the remainder coming through government Rough Sleeper Initiative funding.
The Alliance provides 236 beds, which are available to anyone experiencing rough sleeping in Oxford. We also directly commissions another 105 beds – meaning that 341 beds will be available in total.
Supported accommodation (£1,269,080)
In addition to the £968,580 contribution to the Oxfordshire Homeless Alliance, we will make grants of £285,500 for supported accommodation provided by A2Dominion, St Mungo’s, Aspire and Connection Support.
A further £15,000 will be used to provide emergency shelter (SWEP) during severe winter weather.
Positive activities and help to get into work (£121,178)
Positive activities grants provide core funding for The Porch day centre and The Gatehouse café, whose services include showers and laundry, food, training and education and a range of activities.
These grants also include funding for the women’s hub run by Aspire and The Gatehouse.
Employment support funding allows Aspire to provide training and employment opportunities for homeless and vulnerably housed people.
Preventing homelessness (£47,815)
These grants fund a specialist tenancy sustainment officer at Elmore Community Services and a sanctuary scheme for people experiencing domestic abuse.
These grants include a contribution towards our rough sleeping and single homelessness team. They also provide free access to leisure centres for people living in supported housing after experiencing homelessness.