More than 250 landlords join domestic abuse campaign as new CIH president takes the helm
More than 250 housing organisations have signed up to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Make a Stand campaign to tackle domestic abuse just five months after it was launched.
The landmark coincides with CIH president Alison Inman, who initiated the campaign as part of her presidential appeal, coming to the end of her time in office.
Make a Stand launched in May in partnership with Women’s Aid and the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA). It asks housing organisations to make four focused, but easily deliverable commitments to provide support for people experiencing domestic abuse.
The response to the campaign has been overwhelming with 253 landlords signed up to take action to help people experiencing domestic abuse in their communities and organisations. Collectively they own and manage more than 2.4 million homes – almost 50% of all social housing across the UK.
As well as the launch of Make a Stand, Alison, who steps down as CIH president today, has raised more than £30,000 for her chosen charity Women’s Aid and its sister organisations across the UK during her time in office. Vice president Jim Strang, who is chief executive of Parkhead Housing Association, steps up to become president, while Grand Union Housing Group chief executive Aileen Evans becomes vice president.
Jim has already announced that he will continue to support Women’s Aid and drive the Make a Stand campaign forward during his year as president.
Alison said: “The inspiration behind Make a Stand was my feeling that housing organisations could be doing so much more to support people who have experienced domestic abuse and I think the results speak for themselves. The response from the sector has been amazing – we hoped that organisations would support what we were trying to achieve and they have absolutely embraced it.
“The most important thing is that millions of people in communities across the UK will be able to access more support and more protection from domestic abuse. I’d like to say a huge thank you to every single organisation and person who has been involved so far.”
CIH chief executive Terrie Alafat CBE said: “During her time as CIH president Alison has lead the housing sector in challenging us all to do more to tackle domestic abuse and has been an amazing inspiration to all of our members around the world. I’d like to pay tribute to her passion, determination and tireless support of CIH as the professional body for housing.”
She added: “Alison leaves big shoes to fill but I know that Jim will be a fantastic successor and form a formidable team with Aileen.”
Jim said: “My father was an extremely controlling and abusive man – this is an issue I have a really personal connection to and as a result I’m extremely passionate about it.
“Domestic abuse affects so many people and everyone in housing has a responsibility to ask what more we can do. Alison leaves a fantastic legacy in Make a Stand and I’m looking forward to pushing this vital work on. It’s brilliant that 253 organisations have signed up so far – now we really want landlords who haven’t yet made the commitment to join us and make a stand against domestic abuse.”
Kelly Henderson and Gudrun Burnet of DAHA said: “We are delighted with the success of the Make a Stand campaign, it is really heartening to see so many housing organisations making a stand against domestic abuse. This is a true testament to the drive and inspiration of Alison who has firmly put domestic abuse on the housing agenda. We are so excited to work with those housing providers who have made the initial step with the #MakeAStand pledge to support them to convert this in to full DAHA accreditation, which was recently backed publicly by MHCLG. This would never have happened without Alison’s extraordinary leadership and we very much look forward to continuing this incredible work with Jim.”
Katie Ghose, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said: “Home should be a place of safety but for thousands of women and children experiencing domestic abuse it can be the most dangerous place they can be. We’re delighted that over 250 housing organisations have signed up to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Make a Stand pledge.
“By signing this pledge, these housing organisations have recognised the important role they have in helping survivors – whether they need support to be safe in their own homes or set up a new home after fleeing their abuser. This is the first step to making sure every survivor and child gets the support they need from housing organisations to rebuild their life free from domestic abuse.”