A partnership to provide safe homes during the pandemic
To alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 policies, many initiatives have been developed by civil society organisations – NGOs, local governments, or citizens. A team of national researchers from the RESISTIRÉ project has collected and highlighted a set of particularly relevant initiatives in 27 European countries and in Iceland, Serbia, the United Kingdom and Turkey. The initiatives currently cover eight specific domains: gender-based violence, the labour market, the economy, gender-pay and pension gaps, gender care gaps, decision-making and politics, environmental justice, human and fundamental rights.
This societal initiative has been collected by: Claire Stovell, Charoula Tzanakou, Alexis Still, Anne Laure Humbert.
Building a partnership to support survivors of domestic abuse
For people experiencing domestic abuse, home is often the most dangerous place. Safe and stable housing is a core need for families and yet it can be the most difficult need to meet. Women and children often face years of housing insecurity after leaving refuge.
Housing Providers & Refuges: Tackling move-on together during COVID 19 is an initiative aiming to bring the housing sector and refuges together to get survivors who are ready for move on right now into a safe home.
The goal of this project, a collaboration between Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance, Women’s Aid Federation of England, National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing, is to ease the transition of survivors of domestic abuse into new and safe homes. Although specifically mentioning women and children, the initiative is for anyone experiencing domestic abuse whether that be on the basis of their gender or any other characteristic.
Responding to an urgent need, now more than ever before
The lockdown increased physical and emotional harm to women and children experiencing domestic abuse, and early reports found that the number of domestic abuse homicides over the first three weeks of lockdown was three times higher than last year.
The pandemic is also making resettlement harder; many refuge services are full but unable to move women on, blocking spaces for survivors who need to escape. The average number of refuge vacancies in England during the first 7 weeks of lockdown was 97, compared with an average of 183 for the same period in 2019.
Some housing providers are advising that they have a number of homes that are currently empty as the usual nominations and lettings procedures were paused during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic. They want to ensure they are playing their part in providing homes for people who are particularly vulnerable, including survivors of domestic abuse.
In the short-term, the initiative is asking housing providers, local authorities and refuges to work together, to coordinate need for move on accommodation with the availability of suitable homes. They will also be working together to ensure they can provide sustainable move on from refuges over the long-term.
The Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance is a partnership of three agencies: Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse, Peabody and Gentoo.
Women’s Aid Federation of England aims to end domestic abuse against woman and children.
National Housing Federation brings together all of the housing associations around England.
Chartered Institute of Housing has over 17,000 members working in the housing profession in the UK.