The increased visibility of domestic abuse cases within social housing in Gwent (due to multi agency information sharing processes), has triggered many changes and developments in the way social landlords respond to and have come to understand this issue.
Free from Fear partners have come to learn that by routinely providing our tenants with relevant information, appropriate signposting, utilising welfare packs and Sanctuary and Safety at Home (SASH) measures and providing support with other tenancy related concerns, frequently many immediate safety and other concerns can be overcome with our support. We believe this in turn has enabled more of our tenants to remain in their home.
We believe as social landlords we have a vital role to play in supporting tenants to remain in their home and sustaining tenancies wherever possible.
When families are supported to remain in their own home, they are able to maintain access to invaluable resources available within their own community. This in turn results in significantly reducing the cost to the public purse of relocating and re-housing families in temporary accommodation (NICE 2014). With timely support, the costs to social landlords associated with property moves (voids), dealing with anti-social behaviour, maintenance and repairs can also be reduced.
Here we consider what else might be needed to support Safety and Sanctuary at Home (SASH) and use of SASH measures and interventions.
Below is also Linc Cymru's practice example case study of their target hardening work with a tenant.
In Tier 1, Priority 3 we outline Caerphilly Housing’s use of welfare packs (SASH packs). Interventions such as this, along with additional target hardening interventions require resources, usually a specific budget in order to support these interventions effectively. It is important to remember that SASH packs and target hardening overall is a way of helping and supporting our tenants who are victims of domestic abuse and therefore, it is vital to invest in order to save in terms of both our tenants and our organisations as a business.
Policy and procedures
Robust policies and procedures in turn guide staff on what interventions are permitted and the resources available, also providing information on how (and when) these can be utilised.
Effective case management incorporates SASH measures and interventions
Staff training is a recurring theme across many of the priority areas in the Free from Fear Response Map. Supporting Safety and Sanctuary at Home is no exception. Staff training supports all aspects involved in responding effectively to domestic abuse, equipping staff with increased awareness and understanding of this issue.