'No better time for housing organisations to commit to tackle domestic abuse.'
Elinor Crouch-Puzey details the work the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance is doing to help housing organisations tackle the problem.
With CIH president Alison Inman and now vice president Jim Strang making a commitment to tackling domestic abuse there is no better time for housing providers to join in and commit to tackling abuse in their own communities.
As Alison herself says, housing organisations have unique access to their communities. We build, manage and maintain homes and we provide something most people would consider to be their most important possession – a home. And what is a home if it doesn’t provide safety and security?. One way providers can do this is via the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA).
It’s been a busy time at DAHA HQ – we’ve recruited three new development managers focused on taking the work forward with Housing Providers. The alliance is about supporting housing providers in their response to domestic abuse through an accreditation process. DAHA is offering FREE workshops on the eight key priority areas of our accreditation and providers can sign up for free.
Since coming to post, the development managers (one focused on working across London, one supporting providers in Cambridgeshire and the third working across the UK), have been setting up and delivering workshops all over the country. Areas to host workshops so far include; Aylesbury, Stockton on Tees and the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Waltham Forest, and Camden.
Momentum is building with more workshops planned for 2018. We’re also seeing providers sign-up for the FREE online toolkit – this is the first step in becoming DAHA accredited. As mentioned, there are eight areas to work though from policy, to training, case management and publicity – each clearly laid out with plenty of hyperlinks and examples of good practice around the country to help you through the process. Once the self-assessment is complete, DAHA will visit you to review, evaluate and award accreditation which lasts for three years once the eight areas have been met.
We’ve also very recently recruited a private sector development coordinator, Victoria Watts, to work on bringing the private rented sector into the conversation about housing’s response to domestic abuse. She is brand new in post but we look forward to updating on her work once she’s had a chance to settle in.
Finally, as if that wasn’t enough; DAHA recently hosted the first National Housing and Domestic Abuse Policy and Practice Group which saw representatives from housing, homelessness, domestic abuse and violence against women and girls (VAWG) get together for the first time to improve partnership working. Representatives include DAHA, AVA, Homeless Link, Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA), National Housing Federation (NHF), Shelter, Crisis, Stonewall Housing, Resolve ASB, Agenda, Safelives and Women’s Aid.
We can all play a role in tackling domestic abuse.
Elinor Crouch-Puzey is housing development manager at Standing Together, a DAHA partner.