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Think tank: Centre for Social Justice

Author(s): Cristina Odone

March 1, 2023

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Social Justice looks at Housing First for domestic abuse survivors.

The number of people forced into homelessness by an abusive or violent partner has surged by almost a fifth since the pandemic. According to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities between July and September of 2022, 6,700 households were accepted as homeless by local councils because of domestic abuse, up 19.6 per cent from the 5,600 in the third quarter of 2020. Domestic abuse has become the second biggest driver of homelessness, despite the Domestic Abuse Act of 2021. The CSJ is determined to stop this social injustice. We propose to adapt the successful Housing First pilots to meet the needs of this vulnerable group. We recommend that funds from the £200m (as of yet unallocated) that government is investing in its Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP), be invested in housing and wrap around support for survivors of domestic abuse and their children. In investing in a Housing First model that focuses on domestic abuse survivors, DLUHC should demand that Local Authorities choose partnerships made up of a local housing association – their experience of homeless individuals and longer-term tenancy makes them ideal; and, as delivery partner, a grassroot charity or local voluntary group, whose trusted presence in the community will enable more survivors of domestic abuse to come forward. The CSJ has calculated that £ 1,451,000 would cover two years’ support for 50 survivors and their children, as well as a community-wide information campaign and monitoring and evaluation.