I am delighted to share the Women in Safe Homes fund’s third social impact report with you. This report highlights the progress the fund is making in relation to its impact on women accessing its homes, its housing partners and on the wider systems of social investment and specialist women’s housing during April 2022 to March 2023.
As at the end of June 2023 the fund was successfully housing and supporting 77 women and 43 children. Many of these women have been affected by one or more issues including homelessness, mental and physical ill health, sexual violence, honour-based violence, forced marriage, and stalking. 50% of the women housed by the fund are domestic abuse survivors, with women leaving the criminal justice system making up the second largest group of tenants.
The report contains some of these women’s moving and powerful stories, alongside the positive outcomes they are experiencing after being given a safe and stable home and the wraparound support given to them by the fund’s housing providers.
Overall, the fund’s tenants typically feel safer, more confident, more empowered, and more independent in their new homes.
As explained by one such tenant, Sarah, “I was in a domestic abuse relationship and didn't know of a way out ... Since moving into the flat I do not feel as hopeless as when I first moved in. My new home has helped me to have peace of mind. Having a stable home means having a stable life.”
Through the provision of safe, decent and stable homes, positive outcomes are also now being achieved for women, including:
There is a very obvious, continuing need for homes for women affected by domestic abuse and/or leaving the criminal justice system.
Demonstrating how vital the need is for suitable housing options for women who are living in fear of their lives if they stay with their perpetrator and at risk of homelessness if they are able to leave, Rachel, one of the fund’s tenants said of her previous situation, “I don’t know where I would have ended up, but given the situation I was in, I could have been killed.”
A focus on deployment
With the fund completing its fund raising at £29 million, its priority is focused on deployment of this capital into safe, secure and energy efficient homes for its housing partners. So far, the fund has handed 43 properties to five of its nine housing partners.
Other highlights in the in the last year include:
Tracy Blackwell, Director of Strategic Insights and Partnerships at Refuge said, “Today the fund is handing Refuge the keys to a property that will provide women and their children fleeing domestic abuse with safe accommodation while they rebuild their lives, away from fear.”
The fund’s ambitions
Over the fund’s lifetime, it has an ambition to purchase 120 homes for its nine partners and to house and support over 1,000 women and children, providing them with stability and the chance to rebuild their lives and create positive futures for themselves.
It also hopes that the fund’s learnings can benefit not just this fund and its housing partners, but also other organisations that might be seeking solutions to women’s housing needs and deliver similar outcomes to the Women in Safe Homes fund.
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