In 2017, as part of its periodic examination of the areas of greatest current need in Ireland, SSGT identified the failure to deliver culturally appropriate, secure, quality accommodation for Travellers as a key issue. Following a donation from the Presentation Sisters (NE Province) and in response to this urgent need, SSGT developed the Traveller Accommodation grant programme (TAGP).
The issue is characterised by:
- Low levels of provision of culturally appropriate accommodation for Travellers
- High levels of overcrowding and increasing homelessness amongst Travellers
- Mainstream discussions on housing and homelessness do not identify Travellers as a high risk category. It is not generally known that Travellers are 11 times more likely to be homeless than someone from the general population.
- High levels of racism and discrimination against the provision of accommodation for Travellers.
- Low levels of (or perception of low levels of) cross sectoral solidarity and support.
- Low level of capital budget available to local authorities, and not multiannual so significant developments cannot be planned.
- Local authority planning mechanism (Part VIII) used to provide Traveller accommodation is not effective.
- Legislative provision to ringfence local authority budgets for Traveller accommodation has not been effective.
- Poor transparency in relation to budgets available and plans.
- Local and national government not being held accountable.
- National and local consultative mechanisms have not been effective in improving outcomes.
- Duty bearers are not engaging effectively with Travellers in developing solutions.
- Low levels of political will and leadership for change, particularly at a local level.
- Relatively high percentage of available budget is spent on repairs of existing stock, indicating poor quality developments.
SSGT knows there are huge gaps in the delivery of Traveller accommodation but this grant programme does not fund service delivery. We support work which contributes to achieving the specific identified outcomes outlined below as we believe they will lead to meaningful and long-term change. The grant application should show a clear path to how the work can make a contribution to one or more of those outcomes. We are happy to have an informal discussion about how your work could fit within this programme in advance of your group submitting an application.
Traveller Accommodation Grant Programme Outcomes
Outcome 1: strengthened support through organising and campaigning
- A greater number of activist groups (particularly young people) have mobilised to hold local and national government to account for the under-provision of accommodation.
- A broad-based coalition of national and regional voluntary organisations has mobilised around an agreed campaign to improve accommodation outcomes.
Outcome 2: improved awareness of and attitude towards need for change in how accommodation is being delivered
- Duty bearers – local authority management, politicians and others have acknowledged the need for change and are acting accordingly.
- Increased awareness of the particular challenges and obstacles to the provision of accommodation among specific target groups.
- Media and other analysis on housing and homelessness more likely to include reference to the particular issues facing Travellers.
Outcome 3: Strengthened alliances
- Greater number of Traveller and non-Traveller ‘champions for change’.
- Improved relationships between stakeholders, building solidarity and alliances.
Outcome 4: improved policies, legislation and change to current practice in the delivery of accommodation
- There is an increased body of evidence to inform changes in policy and practice.
- Local and national structures charged with the delivery of accommodation are operating more effectively.
- Legislation, policy and structures have changed to create a framework which better facilitates the delivery of accommodation.
Key principles underpinning the grant programme include:
Traveller participation – SSGT recognises that policies and programmes targeted at Travellers will not be effective without the meaningful participation of Travellers at the design, implementation and monitoring stages. SSGT is committed to removing barriers to Traveller participation and expects that funded work will proactively support and facilitate Traveller participation in all aspects of the activities.
Relationship building – SSGT recognises that effecting change in the provision of Traveller accommodation needs partnership and co-operation between a range of individuals and groups. The need to develop trust, build relationships and form alliances should be addressed in the application. Unless relationships are effectively fostered and developed, change is not likely to succeed or be lasting.
Traveller Accommodation Grant Programme elements
Grants will be made for work which: stimulates and strengthens activism at a local level, particularly among young Travellers; supports effective advocacy to improve practice; supports work (effective advocacy, knowledge or research) that leads directly to policy (including legislative) change.
Collaborative proposals will be particularly welcomed.
Projects will focus on one or more of the specified outcomes.
All funded work will be underpinned by the principles of transparency, participation, relationship-building and accountability.
There will be a Learning Network of groups established to encourage collaboration and sharing of learning. Proportionate evaluation and learning will be built into projects individually and collectively.
The programme will have a monitoring and evaluation framework to capture learning and outcomes on a continuous basis.
Grant levels will vary from an average of €5,000 for small pieces of research, learning and activism to €15,000 to €20,000 for work having a greater impact. Multiannual grants are also available. We will prioritise work which cannot be funded from other sources.
Grants can be spent on core costs or programme/project costs but SSGT will need to have a clear understanding of the overall budget and how it fits with other funding contributing to the programme. The SSGT grant will need to add value to the current level of activities.
Given the programme outcomes being sought, SSGT is encouraging collaborative proposals among group and agencies with the capacity to contribute to the outcomes and which are underpinned by the key programme principles of Traveller participation and relationship building.
All queries regarding applications should be directed to the SSGT office. Grants staff aim to be available to discuss applications by telephone or email, but are unable to meet with applicants prior to the submission of an application, due to limitations on staff capacity. Please do not contact individual Trustees about your application, at any stage of the process.
 Where ‘accommodation’ is referenced it is taken to mean culturally appropriate, secure, quality Traveller accommodation.
The Trust operates a two step process, the details of which are outlined here. Please ensure your organisation is eligible to apply and you are familiar with the criteria and deadline dates.