Cities need to adapt to climate change: but how will the necessary planning, actions and infrastructure be financed? International and national adaptation funding arrangements currently offer few opportunities for city-level finance, and still fewer for money to be channelled directly into the hands of low-income urban residents. These funds are insufficient in quantity, unaccountable to their ultimate beneficiaries and inaccessible to many of the most vulnerable groups. In contrast, locally controlled funds that~are managed directly by organisations of low-income urban residents have shown their ability to reduce risk and vulnerability. This briefing — and the longer paper upon which it draws — argues that supporting funds of this type is a key component to increasing the resilience of urban residents and the cities where they live.