Presentation on theme: "Domestic violence and homelessness Spotlight on: Homeless Women - 20th June John Bentham Homelessness and Support Division Department for Communities."— Presentation transcript:
1 Domestic violence and homelessness Spotlight on: Homeless Women - 20th June John Bentham Homelessness and Support Division Department for Communities and Local Government
2 Latest homelessness trends DCLG domestic violence research TodayLatest homelessness trendsDCLG domestic violence researchMinisterial Working Group on HomelessnessWorking together
3 Accommodation plays an important role The dynamics of domestic violence mean that accommodation can play an important role in the resolution of interpersonal violence and conflict. It is the foundation to ensuring that adult and child victims are afforded safety and security.The homelessness legislation in England provides one of the strongest safety nets in the world for families with children and vulnerable people who become homeless through no fault of their ownIn 2010/11 1,410 households were accepted by local housing authorities in England as being owed a main homelessness duty where a household member was vulnerable because of domestic violence (3%).In 2010/11 5,930 households were owed a main homelessness duty, by Reason for Loss of Last Settled Home relationship break down with partner (violent) 13%
4 Domestic Violence is a devastating crime It impacts across all communities:Domestic violence accounts for 18% of all violent incidents (crime in England and Wales 2010/11)In 2010/11, 21 men (5%) and 93 women (52%) were killed by a partner, ex-partner or lover.Seven per cent of women and five per cent of men reported having experienced domestic abuse in 2010/11 equivalent to an estimated 1.2 million female victims of domestic abuse and 800,000 male victims.Twenty-four per cent of women and 12 per cent of men reported having experienced such abuse since the age of 16The total cost of domestic violence to services amounts to £3.8 billion and the cost to the economy is £1.9 billion. An additional element is the human and emotional cost. Domestic violence leads to pain and suffering that is not counted in the cost of services. This amounts to around £10 billion a year
5 Domestic violence related homelessness Households accepted as owed the main homelessness duty by priority need category (domestic violence) and reason for loss of last settled home (relationship breakdown violent) - England
7 Age profile of homelessness acceptances Homelessness acceptances by age:June 2009March 2012
8 Female lone parent households Percentage of female lone parent households accepted as owed the main homelessness duty for England and LondonPercentage of homeless acceptances made up of female lone parent households for London and England
9 One person female households Percentage of one person female households accepted as owed the main homelessness duty for London and England
10 Single person households London Homeless single person households accepted as owed the main homelessness duty in London (male and female)
11 Homelessness and domestic violence in London and England Percentage of households accepted as owed the main homelessness duty where household member is vulnerable as a result of domestic violence - London and England
12 Loss of last settled home Reason for loss of last settled home – relationship breakdown violent for London and England
13 Loss of last settled home Reason for loss of last settled home – breakdown of perpetrator
14 Why did we conduct this research? Concerns from stakeholders that single women without dependent children were not getting the housing assistance they required to stop them returning to a violent situation.Concerns that there is insufficient accommodation and support for survivors of domestic abuse .Concerns that Sanctuary Schemes were making survivors ‘prisoners in their own homes’ & some security measures were inadequate.
15 Assistance for adults without dependant children Research project 1 - assistance for adults without dependant childrenThe aim of this research was to establish the extent to which adults who are neither pregnant nor who have dependant children and who have to leave their homes due to domestic violence are getting the help they need from local authorities to ensure they do not have to return to accommodation where they would be at risk of violence.The study attempted to establish an estimate of the numbers and circumstances of adults in such circumstances who do and do not receive sufficient assistance from local housing authorities to ensure they do not need to return to accommodation where they would be at risk of violence.It attempted to establish the types of assistance being provided to these adults – via both statutory and non-statutory means – and the implications for households who do not receive the assistance they need.
16 FindingsHousing and housing related support play a vital role in increasing the chances of someone being able to leave accommodation where they are at risk of violence and not having to return to it.A local authority's initial response is important.Good housing options service provide an effective choice of housing solutions to a wider client groupPoor data availability – housing outcomes not always clearMixed practice across the country – possible disconnect between policy and practiceSuggestion of a link between length of stay in temporary accommodation and increased risk of return to a violent situationMore time spent in TA ‘may increase risk’ of returning to violent situation – therefore move on is important – pointed towards London as a bad areaFor those who approach a local authority for help, sufficient assistance to obtain settled accommodation to ensure there is no need to return to violence can be delivered in the following ways:Considered under the homelessness legislation and accepted as owed the main homelessness duty; provided with appropriate interim accommodation and after a few months with settled accommodation in the form of a social tenancy or private rented housing.Considered under the homelessness legislation, found not to be owed the main homelessness duty but provided with interim accommodation in which the applicant may remain until settled accommodation is found. Assistance provided through the Housing Options service to secure accommodation in the private rented sector or given priority on the housing register to enable a quicker offer of a social tenancy.Not considered under the homelessness legislation but assisted to access appropriate temporary accommodation. Assistance provided through the Housing Options service to secure accommodation in the private rented sector or given priority on the housing register to enable a quicker offer of a social tenancy.Which of these methods of providing assistance was found to be used depended in part on individual’s situations. Some people were able to remain in their accommodation with the help of a Sanctuary Scheme. Some were at higher risk of future violence than others, and some may have had factors that would tend to mean they were considered vulnerable (such as a disability).73 per cent of those accepted as owed the main homelessness duty30 per cent of those considered under the legislation but not accepted as owed the main homelessness duty (e.g. because they were considered not in priority need or were found intentionally homeless);57 per cent of those who were not considered under the legislation, but instead were helped by Housing Options servicesAt their best, this research suggested that Housing Options services can provide an effective choice of housing solutions to a wider client group [as they do not require authorities to distinguish between priority and non-priority need casesThere was also enthusiasm from local authorities for the way in which Housing Options services empowered clients, as opposed to the traditional system of considering duties owed and allocation of a property:Local authority staff were often very positive about the potential of Housing Options to offer help to a wider group of people. In the less pressured areas it was possible to offer people a real choice of housing in different tenures.
17 Findings Local authority’s initial response is important. Region Policya) Always in priority needb) Not in priority needc) Case by case basisNo responseTotalEast116321North West8715North East56South East22628East Midlands1317Yorkshire and the HumberWest Midlands412London910South West111422 (17%)2 (2%)95 (74%)9 (7%)128More time spent in TA ‘may increase risk’ of returning to violent situation – therefore move on is important – pointed towards London as a bad areaFor those who approach a local authority for help, sufficient assistance to obtain settled accommodation to ensure there is no need to return to violence can be delivered in the following ways:Considered under the homelessness legislation and accepted as owed the main homelessness duty; provided with appropriate interim accommodation and after a few months with settled accommodation in the form of a social tenancy or private rented housing.Considered under the homelessness legislation, found not to be owed the main homelessness duty but provided with interim accommodation in which the applicant may remain until settled accommodation is found. Assistance provided through the Housing Options service to secure accommodation in the private rented sector or given priority on the housing register to enable a quicker offer of a social tenancy.Not considered under the homelessness legislation but assisted to access appropriate temporary accommodation. Assistance provided through the Housing Options service to secure accommodation in the private rented sector or given priority on the housing register to enable a quicker offer of a social tenancy.Which of these methods of providing assistance was found to be used depended in part on individual’s situations. Some people were able to remain in their accommodation with the help of a Sanctuary Scheme. Some were at higher risk of future violence than others, and some may have had factors that would tend to mean they were considered vulnerable (such as a disability).73 per cent of those accepted as owed the main homelessness duty30 per cent of those considered under the legislation but not accepted as owed the main homelessness duty (e.g. because they were considered not in priority need or were found intentionally homeless);57 per cent of those who were not considered under the legislation, but instead were helped by Housing Options servicesReported policy and practice on deciding whether applicants who are a single adult without children and fleeing domestic violence are ‘vulnerable’
18 Accommodation and support provision for households at risk of domestic violence Research project 2 - accommodation and support provision for households at risk of domestic violence.This study identified the current housing options available to households at risk of domestic violence, and to assess whether this provision meets current need.It involved establishing:The extent and type of temporary and settled accommodation available for households at risk of domestic violence in England, including the provision of housing related support services delivered to both temporary and settled accommodation, and to households’ own homesThe extent and nature of other options which enable households to remain safely in their homesWhether current provision meets the needs of households at risk of domestic violenceWhat gaps in provision exist
19 445 accommodation based services (79% charitable/ 3rd sector, 20% housing associations 1% local authorities)301 floating support services(79% charitable/ 3rd sector, 15% housing associations 6% local authorities)View on level of specialist accommodation based services service provisionNo change required 39%Expand 33%Reduce15%Not provided 8%Do not know5%
20 Specialist accommodation per 10,000 population RegionHouseholds in 2011 (000s)Total servicesHouseholdPlaces1Mean places per 100thousandhouseholdsMean places per 10,000 populationLondon3339387226.11.1East Midlands1994840720.51West Midlands2825548317.10.8Yorkshire and Humber2333836515.70.7South East3986460815.30.9East England2533936414.30.6South West2734238714.2North East1152015313.3North West3074639612.9Total2,3944454,03516.9Percentage of unitary authorities and county councils with less than 1 household place per 10,000 population London 42% (national average 68%)Percentage of unitary authorities and county councils with 1 household place or more per 10,000 population London 58% (national average 32%)
21 FindingsOverall, the provision of accommodation and housing-related support for households at risk of domestic violence is widespread across England. This provides a good basis for further development of the sector. However, currently provision is inconsistent and often relatively thin in terms of offering households a range of options at any one local level. A more strategic approach to delivering this provision is required at both a local and national level.Households at risk of domestic violence (including children) require more than traditionally defined accommodation and housing-related support. Some households may have a need for considerable and long-term support that may encompass issues such as safety and self-esteem alongside a lower level need for tenancy sustainment support. The immediate risks of violence to this client group means that services necessarily have to function differently. Services need to be able to respond to both housing-related and these other very specific support needs. Specialist services and/or well-coordinated packages of service are therefore essential. A one model generic floating support service, or accommodation based service, cannot therefore be made to fit the needs of households at risk of domestic violence.CONTEXTThe lack of affordable, suitable, settled housing was a major barrier to adequately meeting the needs of households at risk of domestic violence. Over half (60%) of local authorities stated that there was not sufficient permanent housing available for households at risk of domestic violence within their area. It was of considerable concern that some households reported that they had been unsure about accessing a refuge for fear that they would not be able to move onto a new home. Further there was some evidence that the lack of suitable housing might also mean that some households might return to abusive situations95% of LAs had at least one specialist accommodation based service for households at risk of dv – limited number of with a secondary function to support households at risk of DV (service users anxious about using this type of provision)
22 Effectiveness of schemes to enable households at risk of to remain in their own homes Research project 3 - the effectiveness of schemes to enable households at risk of domestic violence to remain in their own homes.The aim of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of schemes that enable households at risk of domestic violence to remain in their own homes.Commonly referred to as ‘Sanctuary Schemes’, they aim to ensure the safety and security of accommodation occupied by the household at risk of domestic violence, and are often implemented alongside legal measures such as injunctions and restraining orders.Although ‘Sanctuary Schemes’ have been an important part of many local authorities’ actions to help prevent homelessness, there has been little research into their effectiveness and in identifying ‘what works’ in terms of ensuring they are a safe and sustainable option for households at risk of domestic violence.This project evaluated a number of case study Sanctuary Schemes in order to identify what works in the provision of a Sanctuary. It will highlight examples of good practice, and use the evidence gathered to update the existing government guidance on the provision of Sanctuaries (see CLG (2006) Options for Setting up a Sanctuary Scheme). It also gathered evidence and attempted to assess the cost benefits of Sanctuaries.
23 FindingsOverall Sanctuary Schemes were thought to be successful in meeting their main aim of providing a safe alternative for households at risk of domestic violence. Most service users said they felt much safer following the installation of Sanctuary measures although there was some evidence that a few households had moved from their Sanctuary because they did not feel safe. However, few Sanctuary Schemes were able to provide detailed information about the sustainability of Sanctuaries beyond immediate outcomes.Difficult to draw firm conclusions about the relative merits of different types of Sanctuary Scheme installations in the absence of detailed data on outcomes for individual households.Type of installations and security measures differed both between and within case study areas, and in the absence of detailed data on outcomes for individual households, it is
24 159 sanctuary schemes (with 68% providing service floating support) Last quarter 1070 preventions using Sanctuary Schemes
25 Barriers and good practice points people being/feeling unsafe outside their homes;problems with information sharing and inter-agency working;a reluctance on behalf of service users to pursue legal remedies;funding issues;a reluctance amongst some RSLs to make a contribution to the costs of Sanctuary Schemes.
26 Good practice pointsAgencies developing Sanctuary Schemes must consider how the Sanctuary Scheme will operate as part of a package of measures to support service users and to prevent further incidents of domestic violence.Sanctuary Schemes should consider how they will monitor and evaluate their service from the outset.All Sanctuary Scheme service users should have a full needs assessment. This should be undertaken by a specialist domestic violence worker. It is recommended that all Sanctuary Schemes use a standardised needs assessment and personal safety planning toolSanctuaries are relatively cheap and can be installed quite quickly and demand for the service is likely to be high. It is therefore most important to ensure that there is sufficient provision and that existing services (for example, specialist domestic violence services and children’s services) have the capacity to support Sanctuary Scheme service users.
27 Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness Cross-Government Ministerial Working Group to address the complex causes of homelessness and rough sleeping:Clear strategic commitment from Ministers in eight Government departments; Defence, Health, Education, Work and Pensions, Home Office, Justice, DCLG, Business, Innovation and SkillsShared responsibility for preventing and tackling homelessnessAligning national strategiesRemoving bureaucracy on local organisations.Early in term of office Shapps formed the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness.Thinking behind it was that homelessness is a complex, cross-cutting issue which requires cross-govt action.Aim = prevent and reduce homelessness and improve the lives of those people who do become homeless.Brings together 8 depts – strategic working at national levelInitial focus on rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping but has now widened to all groups at risk of homelessnessMeet roughly every quarter – officials groups meets more regularly
28 First MWG report: Vision to End Rough Sleeping – No Second Night Out nationwide Published July 2011Focused on addressing the complex causes of single homelessness and rough sleeping.Departmental commitments across six broad priorities:1. Helping People Off the Streets2. Helping People Access Healthcare3. Helping people into Work4. Reducing Bureaucratic Burdens5. Increasing Local Control Over Investment of Services6. Devolving Responsibility for Tackling HomelessnessFlagship policy announcement was the national roll out of No Second Night Out (Mayor of London’s approach to getting new rough sleepers off the streets)MWG’s first report was published last summer – called Vision to End Rough Sleeping – No Second Night Out NationwideFocus on single homelessness and rough sleepingSix joint commitments – commit govt depts to work together to tackle rough sleeping and its causes.For example DoH committed to supporting Health and Well Being Boards to ensure needs of vulnerable groups are better reflected in Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and highlighting the role that specialist services play in treating homeless patients (esp dual diagnosis of substance misuse and mental health issues)DWP committed to early access to the Work Programme for homeless clients claiming JSA and to undertake a review of employment support for homeless people.Flagship policy announcement was the national roll out of No Second Night out – the Mayor of London’s successful approach to quickly identifying and supporting new rough sleepers so that they don’t have to spend a second night on the streets. – backed by the £20m Transition Fund which went to HL to support the roll out and deliver strategic rough sleeper services.
29 Second report: Preventing homelessness – the rationale We know that homelessness is not just about housingRecent evidence on Multiple Exclusion Homelessness (MEH) has suggested that there is a high degree of overlap between these needs. A survey of homelessness service users in 7 UK cities found:98% had been homeless at some point70% had experienced substance misuse67% had been involved in street culture activities; and62% had experienced some kind of institutional care.There was a high degree of overlap between these experiences with almost half (47%) of service users reporting all four experiences, demonstrating that many homeless individuals have complex and multiple needs.This leads to increased costs and increased burden on other services. Research shows that many come into repeated contact with range of services before they become homeless – schools, care system, criminal justice system, drug and alcohol services Fitzpatrick et al, Heriot-Watt University, Sept 2011 Multiple exclusion homelessness across the UK: A quantitative survey. A multi-stage survey conducted in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds and WestminsterConscious that homelessness is about more than rough sleeping the MWG wanted to draft a second report on preventing all forms of homelessness (statutory and single)Wide body of evidence tells us that homelessness is not just about access to housing and that many have multiple and complex needs.Suzanne Fitzpatrick (Heriot Watt University) recently surveyed homeless service users in 7 UK cities –98% had been homeless at some point70% had experienced substance misuse67% had been involved in street culture activities; and62% had experienced some kind of institutional care.Massive overlap- almost half (47%) of service users reporting all four experiences.Research also found that many come into contact with a wide range of services before they become homeless – such as schools, care system, drug/ alcohol, police, courts, prison, probation services – in addition to the local authority housing options serviceSuggests that these interactions with range of services offer opportunities to address problems before they escalate into a housing crisis.Costs of homelessness are also spread between govt depts, agencies and services – for example Rough sleepers and hostel residents are estimated to use around 4 times more acute hospital services than the general population and 8 times more inpatient services than the general population.
30 Second report: Preventing homelessness – the strategy Broader focus on preventing all forms of homelessness – families as well as rough sleepers and single homelessIntervening earlier to tackle underlying problems by embedding homelessness prevention activity into the work of the range of agencies that come into contact with those at risk before they lose their homeDelivering integrated services (like Community Budgets) that will tackle the complex causes of homelessness and support an individual’s recovery.Working towards a Summer publicationSo the MWG wanted to draft a further report which looks more broadly at the underlying causes of all forms of homelessness and provides a crossPlan is to draft a strategy which sets out how each of the relevant govt depts and their agencies can embed homelessness prevention into their work, identify those at risk of homelessness and intervene before they become so.Support this by encouraging local authorities to adopt a broader offer – providing quality advice and prevention options to everyone at risk of homelessness (not just those owed a duty). Core part of the LA offer will be thinking about how they can help to sustain tenancies and increase access to private rented sector housing.We want to encourage agencies and LAs to work together to provide integrated services which address an individual’s problems in the round rather than in isolation from each other –like Community Budgets which give local partners the freedom to work together to redesign services around the needs of citizens, improve outcomes, reduce duplication and waste and save public money.And the work colleagues are undertaking to turn around the lives of Troubled Families 120, 000 by 2015
31 Working together in the context of the MWG 1) Addressing underlying problemsDo local authorities and the voluntary sector have a role in preventing domestic violence and homelessness by addressing underlying problems? What should this look like?2) Prevention and other agenciesHow can we embed prevention activity into the work of agencies? What can agencies do to help tackle domestic violence homelessness?3) LeadershipWhat forum would work best to help bring the wider services involved in tackling domestic violence and homelessness?Do appropriate local structures exist that could be adapted for this purpose?4) Integrated servicesHow can we deliver better integrated local services? What are the barriers?This is where we need your help: Questions – 2/4 groups, 2 questions eachAddressing underlying problems (aside from housing issues)Do LAs and the Vol Sector have a role here? What is it? How could it work?2)Prevention and other agencies We’re working with departments across Whitehall and their agencies to establish how we can embed homelessness prevention into their day to day work. Welcome your thoughts on how we can do this? Eg training and awareness raising for front line staff to spot someone at risk or improved data collection.Where should we intervene to make the biggest difference? Eg young people at point of exclusion from school? People admitted to hospital with drugs/alcohol and housing problems3) Leadership - Mayor of London’s Delivery Board has shown what political leadership and multi-agency partnership working can achieveAs elected place shapers for their local areas we think LAs are well placed to provide strategic leadership necessary to drive improvements on this agenda.Do forums like this already exist? What would work best to get all the relevant partners around the table locally?4) Integrated services Once we’ve set strategic leadership locally we’re keen to encourage joined up service delivery on the ground. Community Budgets and Troubled Families are examples – Ideas on how we can do this?