Kenneth Gibson MSP has written to the housing organisations in Cunninghame North asking them to subscribe to a campaign committing them to put policies in place to support residents and staff affected by domestic abuse.
The Make a Stand campaign was launched by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) in May 2018, in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA).
It has seen 302 housing organisations sign up in just eight months. Collectively they own and manage more than 2.6 million homes – over 50% of all social housing across the UK.
Mr Gibson has written to North Ayrshire Council and local housing associations.
Make a Stand asks housing organisations for a commitment to make sure they have taken the following actions by September 2019:
Put in place and embed a policy to support residents who are affected by domestic abuse;
Make information about national and local domestic abuse support services available on your website and other appropriate places so that they are easily accessible for residents and staff;
Put in place a human resources policy, or amend an existing policy, to support members of staff who may be experiencing domestic abuse;
Appoint a champion at a senior level in your organisation to own the activity you are doing to support people experiencing domestic abuse.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Millions of people experience domestic abuse every year and two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week.
“The Make a Stand campaign encourages housing organisations to officially recognise the important role they can play in helping survivors of domestic abuse, whether they need support to be safe in their own homes or set up a new home after fleeing their abuser.
“Participation entails a commitment to ensure every survivor and child get the support they need from their housing organisation to rebuild their life free from domestic abuse, through a set of concrete actions implemented by the organisation.
“I know that North Ayrshire Council and our local housing associations all take social responsibility, accommodation standards and the safety of their tenants very seriously.
“I am sure that they will make this commitment to the Make a Stand campaign as soon as possible, putting in place all the required actions associated with supporting domestic abuse victims - insofar they have not done so already.
“Although the campaign is aimed at housing organisations in principle, there is no reason why private letting agents should not aspire to make the same commitments and I call upon them as well to implement the four measures to tackle domestic violence before September 2019.”
Detailed information on the campaign is available here.