Domestic abuse

At the NHF, we stand together with our members to help end domestic abuse for every resident of social housing.

We know housing plays an important role in cases of domestic abuse, where housing uncertainty can be used by perpetrators to exert control. A lack of safe, secure and high quality housing can put people experiencing domestic abuse at risk of homelessness and therefore hesitant to speak out.

That’s why the NHF and our members work closely with public agencies and specialist organisations to raise awareness of domestic abuse issues at a strategic level. Housing associations are well placed to identify domestic abuse and prevent escalation through offering support and guidance to survivors of domestic abuse.

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How do we help our members stand against domestic abuse?

At the NHF, we stand against domestic abuse by influencing policy on a strategic level, to make sure housing associations have the tools and resources to help tackle domestic abuse in their homes. We do this through:

  • National Expert Steering Group 
  • Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s Strategic Reference Group on Perpetrators
  • National Domestic Abuse Core Group
  • Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance

Join your DAHA Regional Group

The Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) brings together housing providers, local authority housing teams and specialist services from across the country to share best practice and coordinate their response to domestic abuse.

What legislation is in place to help reduce domestic abuse for residents of social housing?

The government has introduced legislation to help tackle domestic abuse, which applies to social housing. This includes:

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021

On 29 April 2021, the Domestic Abuse Act received Royal Assent. This Act sets out a series of measures to tackle domestic abuse, including:

  • A statutory definition for domestic abuse.
  • Protections for domestic abuse victims.
  • A duty on local authorities in England to provide accommodation-based support to victims of domestic abuse and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation.

As well as a duty to work with local authorities, the Domestic Abuse Act impacts social housing providers, introducing new allocation policies and ways of addressing anti-social behaviour. Registered providers should make sure their policies and procedures reflect the new requirements including the definition of domestic abuse. 

The Social Housing Regulation Act 2023

The Social Housing Regulation Act introduces new rules that registered providers must comply with on safety of homes. The (draft) revised consumer standards set a requirement for registered providers to work with other agencies tackling domestic abuse and enable tenants to access appropriate support and services. This means that registered provider must:

  • Have a policy for how they respond to cases of domestic abuse.
  • Co-operate with appropriate local authority departments to support the local authority in meeting its duty to develop a strategic and commission services for victims of domestic abuse and their children within safe accommodation.

Domestic abuse and consumer regulation webinar

Find out more about how the Social Housing Regulation Act and consumer standards will require housing associations to work with other agencies to tackle domestic abuse and make sure their residents have access to support and advice.

Watch the webinar here

Read the latest Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation National Expert Steering Group annual report

In February 2024, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) published an overview of year two of the provision of support for victims of domestic abuse in safe accommodation duties.‚Äč

Read the report here

Who to speak to

Victoria Shannon, External Affairs Manager