homelessness grants May 2021
Housing and Homelessness / COVID-19 grants

OCF is seeking to award grants around tackling the causes of homelessness or supporting move-on housing. These will be funded from our Community Resilience Fund, set up during the pandemic. Rough sleepers were brought into emergency accommodation during the last year’s various lockdowns. As this provision comes to an end, OCF is keen to support work that prevents a return to the streets.

Amounts available: £5,000 to £25,000. Collaborative applications are welcomed.

Group annual income: Under £5,000,000

Type of cost: Core costs, project or programme work that contributes towards the priorities. We will fund ongoing running costs.

Closing date: NOW CLOSED


The majority of people become homeless because they are unable to afford private rent, have not obtained state benefits to which they are entitled or are not eligible to receive state benefits to cover rent payments (no recourse to public funds). Certain groups of people, such as ex-offenders, ex-armed forces, those with substance or alcohol abuse/recovery and immigrants with an unresolved immigration status, are more likely to become homeless. Becoming homeless is often triggered by a traumatic event such as a relationship/family breakdown, becoming unemployed or serious illness.

Homelessness Priorities

OCF is now seeking applications from organisations that can provide a demonstrable contribution towards the following homelessness priorities:

Tackling the causes of homelessness

  • Increasing the availability of low income and supported housing units
  • Providing advice and support services to those in danger of homelessness, eg NEETs, unemployed, families, offenders before prison release, etc
  • Resolution of unresolved immigration status or other causes of NRPF
  • Preventing, reducing and delaying homelessness, especially rough sleeping, with programmes targeted on resolving the conditions of the high-risk groups which lead to homelessness
  • Offering a system of effective and sustainable services and support for homeless people that includes provision of housing as well as the interventions needed to enable the individual to become economically and socially independent
  • Developing and testing models of intervention and support that can be used more generally, and outside Oxfordshire, to tackle a prevalent cause of homelessness
  • Providing evidence of financial, social and health returns to support the change of local and national government policy to ensure the availability of public funding for effective solutions

Move-on housing

  • Refurbishment of existing housing stock to make it more suitable for residents
  • Using existing houses to provide supported housing
  • Providing support to those already accommodated in private rental or housing association properties
  • Providing support services to those people needing move-on housing


Note: This grants round is focusing on longer term support not immediate relief, such as food provision.

Preferred beneficiaries and outcomes
Beneficiaries Outcomes
  • Rough sleepers
  • Reduced levels of homelessness
  • People at risk of eviction
  • Improved economic wellbeing
  • People with no recourse to public funds
  • Increased employability
  • Hidden homeless people
  • Improved physical/mental wellbeing
  • Reduced offending/anti-social behaviour
  • Reduced substance misuse and addictions
  • The beneficiaries must be people (not an individual), rather than animals and the environment more generally.
  • We will fund ongoing running costs, one-off events or a programme of events.
  • The number of people participating will be considered and proportional funding assigned as appropriate.
  • The project budget must be itemised and well costed, indicating where other funds have been secured.
  • The project MUST be completed within 12 months of application.
  • Funds cannot be awarded to cover costs already paid for.
  • The grant may be used as match funding or partial project funding if prospects of other funding can be shown.

Collaborative applications are welcomed and where two or more organisations are working together they can apply for a total maximum grants value of £75,000. A lead organisation will need to be identified and be willing to manage any funds awarded.

Priority will be given to collaborative projects in cases where collaborative and single-agent delivery projects score equally.


Please read the general eligibility criteria at the bottom of this page, which give an overview of the criteria for all our grants programmes.

The online application form will require you to supply specified documentation showing evidence of good governance, as well as an appropriate referee. Your organisation needs to have minimum one year of operation; if you have been constituted for less than one year but have been active for longer, please demonstrate this activity.

Your application will be reviewed by the OCF grants panel and an independent homelessness policy expert on 7th July 2021. Successful grants will be paid within six weeks of notification of success. Your project and grant monitoring must be completed within 12 months of application. Funds cannot be awarded to cover costs already paid for. The grant may be used as match funding or partial project funding.

All applications will be assessed for impact. Larger grants will be monitored throughout the duration of the project; regular reports will be submitted to OCF and an end of project summary evaluation to document both project achievements and long-term impact is required.

Dates and timings

Early applications are always appreciated.

Opening date Closing date (midday)
Wednesday 19th May 2021 Wednesday 16th June 2021

Before you start your application, please read the full eligibility criteria. 

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Projects we support - find them on GrantNav

The Gatehouse

The Gatehouse is a community drop-in centre offering free support services for adults who are homeless, vulnerably housed, on low income and looking for company and community. They offer a free cafe six times a week, therapeutic workshops and a one-to-one casework team.

Aspire Oxfordshire

Aspire Oxfordshire is an employment charity and social enterprise, supporting vulnerable and marginalised people to address their unique housing and employment needs. They provide specialist long-term and person-centred support, guiding their beneficiaries to build upon their skills and self-confidence.

Aldates Community Transformation (ACT)

ACT is a small charity in Oxford providing housing and support for people at the margins of society: homeless people, ex-offenders, and people struggling with mental health. Their outreach work centres on food, in particular weekly communal meals.

Homeless Oxfordshire

Homeless Oxfordshire supports and guides people along a one-way journey out of homelessness, towards fulfilling futures.