Housing charity to close after more than 100 failed funding bids

A charity whose origins in supporting tenants date back almost 50 years is to close this month amid “unfavourable operating conditions” and applying to over 100 funders “without success”.

The TAROE Trust has taken the decision after failing to secure core funding from a wide array of funders.

It will cease operating its services by the end of December and will redistribute its remaining funds to other tenant related charitable causes.

“A combination of factors therefore mean that we feel now is the right time to close the work of the charity with dignity,” said the Trust.

The organisation’s origins supporting tenants date back five decades through the creation of the National Tenants Organisation in 1976, which together with the National Tenants and Residents Federation merged into TAROE Limited in the 1990s, from which the TAROE Trust emerged as a charity in 2013.

The charity said that it had also attempted to “re-pivot” into “a knowledge hub, engaging in original and pioneering evidence-led housing research with higher education institutions”.

But “the financial returns from such activities are marginal”, the charity found.

It said that the charity “could have continued in the short term” but without core funding it would have been in a position “of managing decline” or scaling up its consultancy services, which “is not realistic” due to financial pressures landlords are facing.

“I am truly disappointed and saddened that we have had to call it a day on the activities of TAROE Trust,” said the charity’s chair Michael Gelling.

“We have worked to support and resolve issues for tenants for many, many years. We have also undertaken a prominent role in influencing most of the national change agendas that have taken place within the housing policy sphere. More latterly, we have also participated in pioneering evidence-led housing research.”

He added: “We hope that our closure will highlight the gap that exists at a national level for a body that represents the interests of tenants from a tenants’ perspective.

“The failure of successive governments to fund an independent national tenant body lets tenants down at a time when the need has never been greater. We hope that one day steps can be taken to rectify this failure.”

Charities facing a tough winter

According to a survey published in November by NCVO one in five charities could “disappear” this winter due to rising demand and falling income.

Almost nine in ten are predicting “that this winter will be as tough, or even tougher, than the last”, the charity sector body’s found.

Among charities to already close or announce plans to shut their doors in recent months is the Cornwall Museums Partnership, which supports more than 70 museums in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It cited a “challenging funding climate” as a factor in the move after a conditional offer of Arts Council England funding was withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the Cares Family group of charities mentioned a “desperately difficult fundraising environment” as a reason behind its decision to close this year.

Elsewhere this year, a “perfect storm of financial challenges” forced Wales based gender equality charity Chwarae Teg to close its doors for good.

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