Prince William launched Homewards, a five-year locally led programme which will demonstrate that together it is possible to end homelessness.

Renaisi has worked closely with The Royal Foundation for over a year as Design Partner for the Homewards programme aimed at ending homelessness. We brought expertise around place-based systems change to support and advise on the development of a place-based approach to ending homelessness with expert housing and homelessness advisors.

Homewards will take a transformative approach to the issue of homelessness and put collaboration at its heart, giving six flagship locations new space, tools, and relationships to showcase what can be achieved through a collective effort focused on preventing homelessness in their areas. The six locations include Lambeth; Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole; Newport; Sheffield; Aberdeen; and Northern Ireland.

Prince William said:

“In a modern and progressive society, everyone should have a safe and secure home, be treated with dignity and given the support they need. Through Homewards, I want to make this a reality and over the next five years, give people across the UK hope that homelessness can be prevented when we collaborate.
I am fortunate to have seen first-hand the tireless work of people and organisations across the sector, the tangible impact their efforts can have and what can be done when communities are able to focus on preventing homelessness, rather than managing it.
It’s a big task, but I firmly believe that by working together it is possible to make homelessness rare, brief, and unrepeated and I am very much looking forward to working with our six locations to make our ambition a reality.”

Prince William

Place-based approach to ending homelessness

“I am delighted that Renaisi has been able to bring our experience of place-based approaches to help shape and support the design of this important approach to ending homelessness.”

John Hitchin

At each location, Homewards will support local partners to form locally-led coalitions of committed individuals, organisations, and businesses who will work together to create and deliver a tailored plan to prevent homelessness in their areas – based on local needs and local expertise.

As part of the Evaluation and Learning Partnership – along with Ipsos UK and Groundswell – we will support Homewards to better understand the breadth and complexities of homelessness, with capacity building, evaluation and support to share what works across the locations and beyond.

Homewards will further support its six flagship locations by:

  • providing access to an unprecedented network of best-in-class expertise, partners and
    funders at a local and national level to unlock new ideas and further investment;
  • providing up to £500,000 of flexible seed funding in each location that can be accessed
    to support the delivery of their action plan; and
  • appointing a local lead to support the locations to drive forward their coalitions and
    Action Plans and spot new opportunities.

Homes will be a focus of the Homewards programme as each flagship location will be supported to deliver an innovative housing project that will test new ways to unlock homes at scale within the location and beyond.

Homewards will focus on improving understanding and boosting optimism around the issue of homelessness. This approach comes as new research, released by The Royal Foundation, suggests that one in five of the UK public have some experience of the issue (either themselves or through someone close to them). Existing data estimates that homelessness is broader than we think, with over 300,000 people – nearly half of whom are children – currently sofa surfing, sleeping on the streets, living in cars, staying in hostels and other types of temporary accommodation. There is reason for hope, however – with two-thirds (65%) believing that as a society, there are plenty of things we can do to end homelessness.

Homewards is a five-year commitment. By the end of that period, The Royal Foundation want the locations to be on a path to ending homelessness for good – making it rare, brief, and unrepeated. The ambition is that this becomes business as usual, not just in these locations, but around the UK and

John Hitchin Renaisi CEO