Domestic violence support service shortlisted for UK housing award
A housing scheme that provides refuge to victims of domestic violence has been shortlisted for a national award
The Dispersed Domestic Abuse Scheme which is run by the Vale of Glamorgan Council has been shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding approach to equality and diversity’ category at the UK Housing Awards.
The service is unique as it is gender neutral. Something that enables it to meet the diverse accommodation and support needs of those clients who do not meet the criteria for a traditional domestic abuse refuge. This can include members of the LGBT community, men, women with older male children, and older people.
Unlike a more traditional approach that would house a number of clients at a single secure refuge, the Dispersed Domestic Abuse Scheme provides those fleeing domestic abuse with a safe and secure self-contained property, with flexible support then being delivered in their new home.
Cllr Andrew Parker, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The scheme provides those who are fleeing domestic abuse with a permanent home, fitted with enhanced security features, in a safe community. These are often some of the most vulnerable members of our society and it is not an exaggeration to say that the support provided by the Council and our partners saves lives.
“The model that we have pioneered fills gaps that exist in domestic abuse support services across the UK. This is genuine, national best practice and we know a number of other local authorities are already looking at copying our approach.”
The properties are provided to clients under an assured tenancy from Newydd Housing and additional support is provided by Atal Y Fro.
The scheme is also a cost effective one as it can be expanded and scaled back as required without the Council having to maintain empty or underutilised properties as would be the case if traditional refuges were developed for each of the diverse communities that the scheme caters for.
The UK Housing Awards is one of the biggest and prestigious awards in the housing sector giving housing associations and local authorities a chance to showcase the outstanding work they are doing in the past year. This year’s ceremony will be held in May.