RSL Homelessness Prevention Fund: Update
In light of the gloabal COVID-19 pandemic, SFHA Policy Lead Zhan McIntyre advises that the launch of the RSL Homelessness Prevention Fund has been postponed until further notice.
While it may be disappointing, it is certainly predictable and understandable that the launch of the Scottish Government RSL Homelessness Prevention Fund has been postponed until further notice.
While it is impossible for us at the moment to predict when the fund will be launched, it is possible to share the intended scope of the fund, so that RSLs are in the best possible position to think about applying for funding for a particular service or programme of work.
Poverty is a key contributory factor in homelessness and is a precursor to homelessness for most (but not all) of those who experience it, whether they are single homeless people or the heads of homeless families. Furthermore, many people experiencing homelessness suffer from persistently low income in the long term, whether receiving out-of-work benefits or in paid work.
Failing to prevent homelessness is not only costly for the public purse but hugely damaging and destructive for individuals.
Universal prevention, which combats the structural factors that contribute to economic disadvantage and inequality, offers the most effective means by which to counter both homelessness and poverty and reduce the links between them. It seeks to reduce the risk of homelessness amongst the general population by improving access to and supply of affordable housing, and/or reforming aspects of the ‘welfare settlement’.
'Prevention’ is recognised as central to achieving the objectives set out in the Ending Homelessness Together High-Level Action Plan (Scottish Government, 2018).
Every social housing provider at the very least is engaged in Universal Prevention by working in local communities to provide good quality affordable homes, providing a Scottish Secure Tenancy (SST) and directly providing or signposting to welfare rights services. Many housing associations also offer services across the other levels of prevention, as well as opportunities to connect with the community.
The RSL Homelessness Prevention Fund supports and extends this work.
The RSL Homelessness Prevention Fund is funded from two Scottish Government sources – the Homeless Fund and Child Poverty Fund. This funding arrangement signifies recognition of the evidence that homelessness and poverty are inextricably intertwined and provides and opportunity for social housing providers to contribute to this agenda.
The fund will support three programmes of work:
- Direct RSL proposals (45%)
- Preventative Analytics and Case-finding (45%)
- Action Research (5%)
Details about the invitation for proposals can be found in the download section on the right handside of this webpage.
When this fund is available for proposals, SFHA will get in touch to let you know.