Council reaffirms pan-London agreement to tackle domestic violence housing issues

26 July 2018

Protecting anyone vulnerable to violent and other abuse is at the forefront of Southwark Council’s priorities.

This month, the council has reaffirmed its commitment to work with neighbouring London authorities and specialist organisations in providing safe places to live for those escaping violence, should they wish to, or need to, move away.

The Pan-London Housing Reciprocal agreement is a voluntary collaboration between local authorities and registered providers which allows social housing tenants at risk of harm from domestic/sexual violence and other Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strands, gang related violence or other community safety risk, to move to another local authority area and keep the same security of tenure previously held.

Councillor Stephanie Cryan, cabinet member for housing management and modernisation, said: “I have long believed that we need to remember who the victim of violence is and concentrate our resources on the victim’s wishes. In many cases, this may mean removing the perpetrator. But some people are either no-longer safe in the family home, or want to get away and start again in the city they call home.

“The importance of protecting the stability of a victim or survivor’s home and family life, keeping an environment calm and consistent for children and shielding them from the disruption and trauma of abuse cannot be underestimated. This is the direction I intend to take the council forward in and this pan-London agreement allows us greater flexibility in how we deal with the housing issues presented by this very serious issue, and a secure tenancy for families escaping abuse.”

The agreement goes over and above the council’s statutory housing duties and is part of a wide ranging package of action that the council is taking through its community safety partnership with the police and other agencies aimed at tackling domestic abuse. The purpose of the Pan-London Housing Reciprocal Agreement is to prevent homelessness in cases of domestic or sexual abuse and other VAWG strands, hate crime, or where people are at risk of harm from gangs or other high risk safeguarding needs. The aim is to increase options for people with a social housing tenancy in London who are at high risk of harm in their current location and need to move to a safe area of London.

Cllr Cryan continues: “This pan-London agreement opens up the communication channels among expert organisations and neighbouring boroughs, allows us to share information, offer the stability that victims of violence so desperately need and create the best support networks for families and individuals suffering from the worst kind of abuse and violence.”

Through this framework, Southwark Council has re-housed the largest number of people fleeing domestic abuse in London.

Page last updated: 26 July 2018