Individuals from across the political divide working together to examine two of society’s ills has insufficient conflict to make a good news story. So you may have missed the publication of a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Ending Homelessness that looked in detail at the links between domestic abuse and homelessness.
In the APPG’s report, the problem of housing people who have to run away from a violent or controlling partner at short notice is addressed. Solutions are outlined that would go a long way towards limiting the numbers who must choose between homelessness and returning to a dangerous situation.
And the numbers are pretty heartbreaking. In 2017, 6,850 people were accepted as homeless by their local authority because of a violent relationship breakdown – 12% of all homeless acceptances.
A shortage of domestic abuse refuge spaces has led to this state of affairs. A report by the charity Women’s Aid states that 60% of referrals to refuges are declined and one in ten women experience homelessness without shelter – rough sleeping – while waiting for a space.
The Domestic Abuse Bill currently making its way through parliament is one step in the right direction. Another is the announced provision for Local Authorities to fund refuge services – hopefully putting an end to the postcode lottery of service provision across the country. The APPG recommends amending the Bill and the Housing Act to make those who have experienced domestic abuse a priority for housing.
It is incredible how much can be achieved when politicians actually work together, take advice from experts and release adequate funding. However, we don’t have much faith in politicians to solve the problems of poverty and homelessness quickly. We believe that the public, charity and private sectors all have a role to play in tackling this huge problem.
We use the money raised from the sale of apps and advertising space to fund projects that have a direct positive impact on the lives of homeless people. If you would like to get involved, why not start by downloading one of our apps? They are fun, useful, and the proceeds go to helping those in need.