On a visit to Sheffield today Prince William unveiled two new major commitments to help prevent homelessness in the city and across each of the six flagship Homewards locations. 

Homewards was founded by Prince William and The Royal Foundation in June 2023 and over the next five years is working with six flagship locations across the UK to deliver innovative solutions that prevent and end homelessness. 

Through its role as Homewards Activator, Homebase has announced it will pledge £1 million worth of support to families and individuals on the brink of or experiencing homelessness. The retailer has agreed to provide up to 1500 ‘Home Starter Packs’ to the innovative housing projects which will be built across each of the six Homewards locations, as well as other housing solutions created through the programme. 

Packs will also be provided to residents at the new 24-home project in Nansledan, recently announced by Prince William and Homewards Activator, The Duchy of Cornwall.

The ‘Home Starter Packs’ could include paint, furniture, flooring and furnishings and will support residents to make their new accommodation feel like home, giving them a solid foundation to thrive and reducing the risk of future homelessness. Each of the starter packs will be created in consultation with the residents moving into accommodation, alongside sector partners and housing experts.

“At Homebase, we know how important it is to have a place to call home, and we’re committed to co-producing Home Starter Packs with the people who will be using them. Over the next five years, we’ll help end the cycle of homelessness by supporting a fresh start with a fresh lick of paint, and all their home needs.”

Damian McGloughlin, CEO, Homebase

Each Homewards flagship location will deliver its own innovative housing project, designed to meet local needs and test new ways to unlock homes at scale. In Sheffield, family homelessness has been an increasing issue in recent years. To help address this, Homewards will focus on unlocking more affordable, long term family homes from across the rented sector.

Today, landlords from across the city have collectively pledged an initial 33 three and four-bedroom properties for families on the brink of or experiencing homelessness in Sheffield. Throughout the project, they will work with Homewards to develop a package of support for both tenants and landlords to sustain tenancies.

Bringing together local and national partners to develop new solutions is vital if we want to end homelessness. Through this major investment from Homebase, and support from local landlords, people will be able to create safe, comfortable and secure homes for themselves and their families to thrive. We are so grateful to our partners for their support and look forward to building on these foundations as we work together to demonstrate that it is possible to end the cycle of homelessness in our six Homewards locations and inspire similar projects across the UK.

Amanda Berry, CEO, The Royal Foundation

A key aim of the Homewards programme is to galvanise national momentum to end homelessness. Today’s announcements aim to inspire other landlords and businesses to step forward to provide support in Sheffield, the other Homewards locations and beyond.