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Call for expressions of interest: Legal Education of Londoners living in Temporary Accommodation

Author: Susie Dye

A set of illustrations showing homelessness, the Private Rented Sector and building houses

Trust for London is seeking expressions of interest from organisations to improve access to reliable information about and understanding of the legal rights of Londoners in Temporary Accommodation. This strand of work is intended to add to the grants, networking and capacity-building support the Trust is providing through the Better Temporary Accommodation initiative, and strengthen organisations in London working with and for people living in TA. Our ultimate goal is that stays in TA should be as short, safe and healthy as possible.

The deadline for this call for expressions of interest has now passed.

The conversations we and our partners have been having while developing the initiative showed strong demand from the voluntary and community sector for information and education to assist people living in TA to understand and safely assert their rights. The available capacity of free or affordable specialist housing legal advice is heavily over-subscribed, meaning that a lot of people have access to, at best, community-level advice, or seek to manage their own cases. We also understand that a little legal input can go a long way, with hard-pressed local authorities responding quicker to those who demonstrate legal knowledge.

In-person and online legal information and education resources exist, and have good take-up. However, they quickly go out of date due to the rapidly evolving legal environment. They may be also inaccessible, whether because people don’t know where to look, they are in legal jargon, they are only available in English, or they are designed for delivery in person to a relatively small group of people.

Through the Better TA initiative, we have made 11 grants to organisations of varying sizes and levels of legal expertise, and built a mailing list of nearly 100 diverse organisations working to support Londoners in TA.

Within the initiative, we have a very limited budget available to fund work to provide small and diverse community organisations with information and education about the legal rights of people living in Temporary Accommodation. We would like this money to benefit as many organisations and people as possible.

This call represents our understanding of some things we believe could help; we are open to alternative ways of doing things.

We would like to commission an organisation to deliver some or all of the following:

  1. A short guide, suitable for publication and appropriately checked, to existing, publicly available materials on the legal rights of people in TA, noting strengths and any accessible features. This will be updated at least once during the contract.
  2. Creation and delivery (up to three times) of a new, accessible course (or updating an existing course), aimed at non-expert community groups, to increase people’s knowledge and understanding of the rights of people in TA they are working with.
  3. Publication of course materials and e.g. video tutorials on a widely used platform (e.g. YouTube), to make knowledge available to groups who are unable to attend the course.
  4. Work with partner organisations to create additional accessible versions of the materials (e.g. in two other languages, BSL or Easy Read). We recommend opening the conversation with partners early in case this raises issues that could influence course content (e.g. around the rights of disabled people or migrants).
  5. Offer a contact point for questions about the content of the videos; this could extend to running e.g. a quarterly online drop-in session for community groups with brief follow-up.
  6. Act as an advocate for access to legal information on Temporary Accommodation, e.g. signposting to existing resources; working with organisations to promote making existing resources more accessible.
  7. Maintain an informal record of sources of legal casework assistance to clients in TA.

We also welcome where organisations or their partners are able to offer second-tier casework support for organisations who have participated in training. While this funding stream is not expecting to fund extensive casework support, it may make a contribution towards the costs of this as part of offering a high-quality service.

The contracted partner will be expected to:

  • Attend up to three, in-person events per year associated with the Better Temporary Accommodation Initiative.
  • Liaise with Trust for London on a quarterly basis.
  • Monitor and respond to related email traffic as needed.
  • Draft a short reflective report at the end of the contract, setting out what they did and what they learned.
TA Legal Education Expressions of Interest

4 August