More social homes needed to help survivors of domestic abuse

Posted 26 Nov 2020

Between April 2019 and March 2020 there were 4,832 applications to local councils from people experiencing homelessness who said that their reason for leaving their old address was violence or abuse in the household. That’s the highest figure for that reason in eight years.

Lucy* - who is part of our Time for Change group in Aberdeen - was sent to a hostel after leaving an abusive partner. She said:

“It wasn’t safe. There were fights every night. The noise was horrendous. Doors would be slammed. I could even hear punches being thrown. Men would chap on my door. It was really threatening and it made me really ill being there.

“I ended up going back to my ex-partner. I was never more at risk of being hurt.”

Fortunately, Lucy got a place in a refuge and then an offer of a small studio flat from her local council.

Our Director Alison Watson said:

“Scotland needs 37,100 new social homes to be built in the next five years if we’re to start reducing need.

“Lucy’s story is just one of countless examples of the risks people, and especially women, face when they lack access to safe, secure and affordable social housing.

“We support efforts to change the law so that wherever possible survivors of domestic abuse can stay in their homes, and perpetrators are made to leave.

“But where that isn’t an option access to social housing must be made easier and the only way to do that is to build the homes Scotland needs.”

Time for Change in Aberdeen is our group for people who have their own personal experience of homelessness. Members use their own experience of services to help us make improvements through research, influencing and campaigning.

Our online petition in support of social housing can be signed here