Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has announced a call for proposals for the Domestic abuse safe accommodation: COVID-19 emergency support fund.
This prospectus provides prospective bidders with information on how to apply for funding and how the assessment process will work.
The Government is fully committed to ensuring that victims of domestic abuse can access domestic abuse safe accommodation with support during the COVID-19 emergency and beyond. In response to current challenges and to ensure refuge services remain open for victims and their children, MHCLG has already:
- Allocated £3.2bn for local authorities to cover COVID-related expenditure pressures and ensure critical services are maintained, and support vulnerable people including victims of domestic abuse.
- Provided guidance for domestic abuse safe accommodation services on safety and service operation during COVID-19.
- Confirmed that front line domestic abuse workers are key workers for the purposes of their children accessing schools, colleges and other educational establishments.
Confirmed that where people need to move within or into social housing as a result of domestic abuse this should continue to happen. Guidance on this for social landlords can be found here:
- The Government is also progressing the Domestic Abuse Bill, which will transform the response to domestic abuse and includes a new duty on local authorities to assess the need for and commission support to victims and their children in safe accommodation.
- The Domestic Abuse Bill was debated at second reading on Tuesday 28 April and has now been 5 sent to a Public Bill Committee. The Committee is scheduled to report by Thursday 25 June 2020.
- To address these concerns, MHCLG has secured £10 million as part of a £76 million Government package of support for the most vulnerable in society. The MHCLG £10 million Fund will support domestic abuse safe accommodation charities from 1 April to 31 October, and will help ensure that –
- Safe accommodation services can continue operating and keep bedspaces open for victims and their children fleeing from abuse during COVID-19 emergency.
- Safe accommodation services can help more victims access these life-saving services.
- Within these aims, the Government also recognises the need to protect specialist provision supporting victims who share relevant protected characteristics and those with complex needs. They are determined to ensure that funding goes to protect those specialist services who need additional support
- Applicants must be charities providing domestic abuse safe accommodation services in England, who meet the definition of being a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution in the Charities Act 2006. This also includes any partners listed in consortium applications.
- Bid applications must be submitted by service providers of domestic abuse safe accommodation, or the lead applicant acting on behalf of a consortium. They strongly encourage applications from consortiums of service provider partners. Consortium bids will help expedite the process of assessment and getting funding to services. If applying as a consortium, the application should identify all the partners in the consortium who must nominate one lead partner to be the grant recipient. The lead partner will submit the application on behalf of the consortium partners, will be the lead contact, and be responsible for allocation of funding across the consortium, as well as for monitoring the fund outcome.
- The fund aims to support safe accommodation services, including refuges. Applicants who already applied for funding in the previous bidding window:
- Organisations which already applied and received funding through this fund can apply again if they have identified additional costs which were not already covered in their previous application – for example sourcing further new accommodation to meet further increases in COVID-19 related demand.
- Organisations which did not apply as well as eligible organisations which already applied for funding but were unsuccessful in their application, are also welcome to apply again.
Evidence of Need
- Bids must demonstrate that they have assessed the extra demand on resources required to enable them to keep services open and available to victims, and their children. Where funding is sought for additional bedspaces, bids should evidence they identified additional capacity and provision, including estimated costs.
Outputs and Outcomes
- Bids must demonstrate that the proposal will be effective in meeting the extra demand on the service identified within the assessment, and enabling the service to keep bedspaces open to victims.
- It is vital that the needs of particular groups with specialised needs are met during this critical time. Prioritisation of specialist service providers will ensure those groups, who often face additional barriers in accessing support regardless of COVID-19 and may bear increased vulnerability (e.g. victims with disabilities; older victims; BME; LGBT, etc) are protected. Therefore, they are giving special consideration to services that provide support to particular groups such as, but not limited to, BAME, LGBT and victims with disabilities. Service providers applying for funding should evidence if the service provides specialised support for particular groups, particularly if their service is unique within their local area. Prioritisation will be given to ensure these services are protected.
Value for Money
- The Government is required to ensure that funding delivers value for money (VfM) – bids must demonstrate how the funding being requested will meet the demand and pressures on their service. VfM will be measured by the outputs/ outcomes (e.g. number of people accommodated and supported) against the costs, as well as the additional costs as a proportion of usual running costs. They are interested in high quality outcomes as well as efficient delivery.