A social landlord has created its first ever safe house in the Midlands.
Platform Property Care – a subsidiary of Platform Housing Group, one of the UK’s largest social landlords – has reinforced a customer’s home after she ended an abusive relationship.
The decision was taken to undertake the work so that the customer could remain in her home with her children, allowing her to keep living in the local area where her support network is, and, crucially, to feel safe and secure.
Glyn Howard, Lead Engineer at Platform Property Care and the initiative’s designer and project manager said : “Keeping our customers safe and ensuring they have the right level of home security to suit their circumstances is a vital part of the service we provide. We are absolutely delighted with the finished product and wish our customer and her family many safe and happy years in their home.”
The work included :
- Iron gates and slatted wooden gates to the side of the property with secure latches;
- A dusk to dawn light above the front door;
- An outward opening 44mm solid core fire rated door on the main bedroom.
The organisation currently supports customers who are victims of domestic abuse by listening, providing advice, signposting to other specialist agencies, operating safety checks in homes to ensure survivors feel safe as well as dealing directly with perpetrators.
This latest project will be included in the company’s application to DAHA – or the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance; this year, will see the social landlord become accredited within best practice guidelines as set out by the government backed DAHA initiative. Having established the first accreditation for housing providers, as a member of DAHA, Platform Housing Group will aim to always deal with victims of domestic abuse in a fair, patient and consistent manner. It will also show its commitment to the issue as well as providing ongoing employee training.
The housing association is part of The Drive Partnership which is made up of Respect, SafeLives and Social Finance. It challenges perpetrators of domestic abuse aiming to fundamentally change perpetrator behaviour to make victims and families safe.
Duncan Palmer, Head of Responsive Repairs at Platform Property Care concluded : “We firmly believe that all of our customers and employees should not live in fear of violence or abuse from a partner, former partner or any other member of their household. As a large provider of affordable housing we have a significant role to play in tackling and preventing domestic abuse.
“Domestic abuse impacts upon all communities, creating a sense of fear and the potential for reprisals and criminal activity. It is a serious and widespread crime affecting all members of our society, including children.”
Statistics surrounding domestic abuse in the UK make for sobering reading :
- 1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic abuse within their lives;
- A staggering 2 women a week are killed by their partner or former partner;
- 1in 4 LGBT relationships is abusive;
- The average victim will suffer more than 50 incidents before reporting;
- Worryingly, the number one barrier preventing women from leaving abusive situations is housing.
Platform Housing Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19). The Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built. Platform Housing Group’s operating area is from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.
If you are a Platform Housing Group customer and is experiencing domestic abuse, please call 0333 200 7304.
For further information please contact Duncan Palmer, Head of Responsive Repairs at Platform Property Care on Duncan.Palmer@Platformhg.com.