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Daily Record
Daily Record
Ian Bunting

North Lanarkshire Council introduces new Housing Domestic Abuse Policy

North Lanarkshire Council's new Housing Domestic Abuse Policy, developed with the Violence Against Women (VAW) Partnership, and shaped by women with lived experience of domestic abuse, will put victims and survivors at the heart of its service.

The local authority is introducing a specific housing policy focussing on domestic abuse which aims to "strengthen and enhance the service, while responding to, and supporting, the needs of victims and survivors".

The housing service is proactive in tackling domestic abuse as in addition to the partnership work undertaken as part of the VAW partnership structure, the council has developed housing specific domestic abuse procedures, guidance and resources for staff, and ensure access and awareness of these resources is readily available.

Key areas of the new policy include:

- Preventing and reducing adverse childhood experiences and providing safe and nurturing accommodation and support that can help children and families thrive.

- Providing information on the range of housing options and support available.

- Outlining the prevention and early housing advice approach and use of the Prevention and Sustainability (PAS) tool in supporting women and children affected by domestic abuse.

- Setting out a commitment to continuing to work in partnership with women with lived experience, specialist providers and the VAW partnership.

- And action against perpetrators - future new powers for social landlords set out in the new Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill.

Housing convener, Councillor Heather Brannan-McVey, told Lanarkshire Live : “Our aim is to deliver the highest quality housing services to best meet the needs of women and children experiencing, or at risk of, domestic abuse.

“Housing has set out a clear commitment to tackling domestic abuse, through signing the ‘Make a Stand’ pledge, developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Alliance.

"This commitment is reinforced in our Local Housing Strategy and Rapid Re-Housing Transition Plan, which sets out how we address homelessness in North Lanarkshire, recognising domestic abuse as a leading cause of homelessness amongst women.

“We’ve achieved significant progress and our new Domestic Abuse Housing Policy, which applies to all aspects of our housing service, will strengthen this approach, improving housing responsiveness, supporting victims and survivors and preventing and tackling domestic abuse effectively.

"We will do everything in our power to stop domestic abuse and make North Lanarkshire a safe place to live.

"We aim to improve awareness across the housing service, among wider partners, victims and survivors, of our approach, services, and options. It’s hoped that other housing providers will adopt a similar policy as we build on our progress to protect those most vulnerable in our communities."

A review of the policy will take place on an annual basis, coordinated by the Housing Domestic Abuse Working Group in partnership with women with lived experience of domestic abuse and the VAW strategic and operational groups.

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