William Eichler 17 October 2019

Fear of homelessness keeping women in ‘dangerous situations’, report finds

Fear of homelessness keeping women in ‘dangerous situations’, report finds image

Almost half of women fleeing secure tenancies said that fear of becoming homeless had been a barrier to leaving their abuser, a new study has revealed.

The charity Solace has published a new report into how London’s housing and homelessness systems are failing women and children who try to escape violence and abuse.

It revealed that 53% of women lose their secure tenancy after fleeing abuse and 30% of women seeking safe accommodation are turned away six or more times.

The study also found that 60% of frontline workers believe the system is slower to make decisions under the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA), and only 4% think support for women with no recourse has improved under the HRA.

Two out of three women report having had a negative experience of their Local Authority housing services.

‘The Safe as Houses report reaffirms our long-term commitment to putting housing at the top of the agenda for women fleeing violence and abuse,’ said Fiona Dwyer, CEO of Solace.

‘It evidences the need for radical change but also offers solutions to improve the situation for women fleeing abuse in London.

‘Last year we supported 22,816 women, children and men across all our services, providing us with a deep body of evidence and important insights from our users and staff, who tell us that lack of safe housing is the number one barrier to leaving.

‘This is why we are calling on London change-makers to commit to three key actions that will materially improve the situation of all survivors made homeless through abuse.’

The three key actions are: allocating London homes to women fleeing abuse; every London borough ensuring women made homeless from abuse are made a priority for safe, secure, suitable housing; every London borough putting in place strategies to ensure a clear pathway for women threatened with homelessness or made homeless due to abuse.

James Murray, deputy mayor for housing & residential development, said: ‘It is appalling that vulnerable women are forced to stay in dangerous situations because they are afraid of becoming homeless.

‘At City Hall, we have given extra priority to tenants who are survivors of domestic violence to move, and we are funding 200 homes specifically to help them and former rough sleepers move on with their lives.

‘We will work with councils to do all we can, but the Government must also step up and give us the funding and powers we need to build enough safe and secure homes so no woman ever has to stay in an abusive environment.’

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey image

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey

Michael Coughlin describes how Surrey CC is developing a ‘rich and granular’ understanding of how its residents, communities and the local economy are being impacted by the pandemic.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Social Worker - LD & Autism

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum
Senior Social Worker / Senior Occupational Therapist/ Senior Practitioner With us, you can achieve more - for yourself as well as those you work to s England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Assessment and Intervention

Essex County Council
£30906 - £42254 per annum + + Free On-Site Parking & Benefits Package
Social Worker - Assessment and InterventionPermanentFull Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Children with Disabilities

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Social Worker - Children with DisabilitiesPermanent, Full Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duty Manager (South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre)

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 5 - Starting at £22,944 per annum, rising to £25,284
South Woodham Ferrers Leisure Centre is one of Chelmsford City Council's excellent leisure facilities which offers a variety of sporting activities... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Assistant Director - Inclusion

Suffolk County Council
£75,745 - £93,245 pa
We are seeking a highly skilled Assistant Director Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue