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£160,000 to be delivered for Housing and Homelessness projects

Lauren Doherty from Causeway Rural & Urban Network's YEAR project presenting at the event

Lauren Doherty from Causeway Rural & Urban Network's YEAR project presenting at the event

£160,000 grant funding has been delivered for innovative, community led solutions to housing and homelessness at a Community Foundation for Northern Ireland event which was held this week (Thursday 30 July) at the Braid Theatre in Ballymena.  

The Community Foundation’s Community Solutions to Housing and Homelessness programme supports the development, testing, and delivery of new ideas and collaborations addressing the root causes of housing issues and homelessness, by working with a range of organisations and giving voice to individuals with lived experience.  


Eight groups pitched their ideas to a full auditorium made up of groups working on housing issues, those with lived experience and others who will vote to allocate up to £25,000 per group, in a Participatory Budgeting process on those ideas they’d like to see developed.   


Speaking following the event Gemma McCaughley from the Community Foundation said:    

“The Community Solutions to Housing and Homelessness programme saw eight groups, who successfully submitted innovative ideas on how to address the pressing issues we face in this sector seek funding to support their programmes.  


“Their ideas were presented to an audience made up of those working closely in these areas sitting alongside people with lived experience of housing issues or homelessness.    

“An essential element to this programme is that those at the coal face, with direct experience of the myriad of issues facing our housing sector are centrally involved and have a key part to play in deciding what projects, in their view, can receive support.    

“Each successful group received up to £25,000 to advance their project. Those who were not successful in the overall vote received £5,000 to develop their ideas further.  


“The voting on each project is based on participatory budgeting principles – essentially people directly deciding how to allocate this funding through a process of democratic decision making.   


“In essence what we will see is those who have direct knowledge and insight into the issues of housing and homelessness have a direct say in how they think these issues can be addressed.  


"We are delighted to be supported in this programme by the Oak Foundation." 

Speaking after receiving funding Sabrina Scullion from Causeway Rural & Urban Network said: 


“Causeway Rural and Urban Network want to raise awareness that a youth voice is necessary in housing policy decisions. Young people do have lived experience of the issues at hand and have something to offer policy makers in terms of insight and experience.  

 “Housing stress and supply for young people is often a huge pressure point and young people are overlooked on too many occasions. Causeway Rural & Urban Network want to change that. 


“Our youth project, YEAR – Youth Empowerment And Resilience, is key to delivering this programme, working closely with our community stakeholders” 

Thirteen priority challenges have been identified including rental, temporary and emergency accommodation, homelessness affecting refugees, asylum seekers, members of the LGBT community and young people along with issues including mental health, the stigma of homelessness and violence against women and girls. 

The six groups to receive £25,000 seed funding are: 

  • Housing Rights 

  • Causeway Rural and Urban Network  

  • Shelter NI 

  • Mindwise & Counselling All Nations 

  • DePaul Northern Ireland 

  • North Down & Ards Women's Aid  

The two groups to receive £5,000 to develop their ideas further are: 

  • Derry GP Federation 

  • Tanvalley & Anaghlone and Veterans NI Project 


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