The prospectus for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Voluntary and Community Frontline Sector Support (VCFS) Grant is now live. Applications for the four separate lines of the fund are due by 1 April.
The government wants to sustain the coordination of rough sleeping services and partnership working during the pandemic and has made funding available for this.
It also wants to support the skills, capability and networks of the sector in order to deliver an end to rough sleeping and homelessness by 2024.
The VCFS Grant provides funding for the next three years, through four individually biddable lots. This funding represents a potential investment of up to £8m commencing from 1 July 2022 to 31 March 2025. The lots are:
Lot 1: Increase the capacity and capability of the sector to prevent and relieve rough sleeping and homelessness. Including:
- Development of a housing and homelessness training programme for frontline staff and volunteers in local authorities and the voluntary sector, to enhance local authorities, public bodies and the sectors’ ability to respond to and prevent homelessness.
- Development of training that supports the sustainability, governance and professionalism of the sector – including developmental support for smaller organisations and support for new and emerging leaders in the sector.
Lot 2: Deliver specific advice to help frontline workers resolve individual cases. This is to deliver advice to professionals rather than to the general public.
Lot 3: Enable stronger local strategic partnerships. Including:
- £450,000-£600,000 per annum to support joint working between the voluntary and community sector, local public bodies and local authorities to tackle local homelessness challenges. This approach uses a partnership approach to address barriers in local systems.
- Working with DLUHC in the assessment and review of local areas to identify positive and challenging partnerships.
Lot 4: Developing the faith and community sector.
How to bid
Return your completed application form to the VCFS grant team by Friday 1 April. Please note that:
- Charities are eligible to bid, whereas councils and public bodies are not.
- Bidders are welcome to apply for multiple lots and partnership bids are encouraged.
- As part of the application process, bidders will be asked to provide expected numbers for DLUHC’s core KPIs. See the prospectus for further details.
- Prospective bidders should illustrate value for money, partnership working models and a strong focus on achieving sustained and developed outcomes that prioritise reduction in homelessness and rough sleeping.
- Quarterly case studies and feedback are required for Lots 3 and 4.
- See the prospectus for information on which documents to submit.
Successful bids are expected to be approved in April, with mobilisation taking place across May and June. New VCFS grant funding agreements will commence in July 2022.