How to apply for the tenants’ voice grant programme

The Nationwide Foundation has opened a grants programme for projects that strengthen the voice of private rented sector tenants. This fund will be open for expressions of interest from 8 October – 18 November 2018.

The Nationwide Foundation wants to help create a future of private renting where tenants are able to access and sustain their tenancies; where landlords deliver a high quality of service to tenants; where tenants have a strong voice in the debates about housing; and where tenants have robust rights which are effectively enforced.

We believe that tenants should be central to any changes to the private rented sector (PRS). Yet at the moment their voices are often absent in meaningful debate. We know that there is already a lot of work happening to strengthen tenants’ voice and we want to support this emerging movement.

We have opened a dedicated stream of funding to strengthen, support and champion the growth of tenants’ voice work, so that PRS tenants have more of a say in the issues that affect their lives and homes.

This fund will be open for expressions of interest from 8 October – 18 November 2018.

What we will fund

We will fund work that will improve the ability of PRS tenants to have a voice in their personal housing issues or in housing matters in their local area. Work funded by the Nationwide Foundation must be with people in housing need (see more on this later).

In addition:

  • We are particularly interested in receiving applications from organisations running projects that were set-up by or are delivered by tenants
  • We are interested in organisations and projects working at all stages of our tenants’ voice programme theory of change, and we will fund different types of projects to learn and share best practice
  • We welcome applications from organisations that work with a range of tenants, including social housing tenants, however our funding can only be used to support PRS tenants
  • We welcome partnership bids and are also willing to co-fund projects with other funders. If you are based in London, you may be interested to know that Trust for London also funds similar work.

Who can apply

  • Organisations that work directly with tenants
  • Organisations that are charities or constituted organisations (not individuals)
  • Organisations from across the UK

Available funding

  • We have £450,000 allocated to this programme
  • We do not set minimum or maximum grant limits, however we want to ensure that we can support a broad range of projects, so it’s unlikely we would fund a project with a grant of less than £25,000 or more than £250,000. If your funding requirement falls outside the guidance, it’s still worth contacting us to discuss the project
  • We will fund multi-year projects of up to three years
  • We support full-cost recovery; this means that we will fund the direct and indirect costs (overheads) of running the project

People in housing need

Not all private tenants are vulnerable, but living in the PRS does carry potential problems, and some private renters are disadvantaged by their tenure. The Nationwide Foundation’s definition of PRS tenants in need are those people whose personal characteristics and circumstances mean that they cannot avoid the potential problems of living in the private rented sector (insecurity, poor living conditions, high costs and severe lack of choice) which puts them at increased risk of harm. This harm can include poverty, homelessness, poor educational attainment, poor physical and mental health and dangerous, unsafe living conditions.

Applicants may be interested in the recently published Vulnerability amongst Low-Income Households in the Private Rented Sector in England by the University of York, which was funded by the Nationwide Foundation along with its companion piece, The Evolving Private Rented Sector: its Contribution and Potential.


  • 8 October 2018: Grants programme opens
  • 11.59pm on Sunday 18 November 2018: Deadline for first stage expressions of interest.
  • December 2018: First stage shortlisting. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified by the end of December
  • January 2019: Successful applicants visited and then shortlisted to second stage
  • February 2019: Second stage applicants invited to submit a full proposal
  • March 2019: Funding decisions made
  • April 2019: Funding for successful applicants starts

How to apply

This funding is being made available through the Nationwide Foundation’s Transforming the Private Rented Sector funding programme. Before you apply, please make sure you have read about this programme, including our theory of change, and about our Decent Affordable Homes strategy.

To complete an online first stage expression of interest, please go to the application form.

If you need any assistance or further information, please contact our Transforming the Private Rented Sector Programme Manager, Bridget Young by email: or phone 07584 889614 (Monday to Thursday).

The deadline for first-stage expressions of interest is 11.59pm on Sunday 18 November 2019.

Back to current funding