Safer Futures Project

High quality, supported, move-on accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic abuse in Bromley and Croydon. Why Safer Futures? One of the barriers to individuals moving out of emergency refuge…

High quality, supported, move-on accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic abuse in Bromley and Croydon.

Why Safer Futures?

One of the barriers to individuals moving out of emergency refuge accommodation is the lack of appropriate supported housing for those families that need longer-term support. There is currently a gap in provision of suitable, affordable move-on housing with support for women leaving refuge with ongoing low to medium support needs. Estimates based on service users having accessed refuge throughout 2018/19 show that approximately 20% of refuge service users would benefit from this type of accommodation when moving on from refuge, per year.

This project aims to free up emergency refuge spaces by increasing the capacity of move-on housing for survivors of domestic abuse with low and medium level support needs currently living in refuges across Bromley and Croydon; and who are ready to leave this type of provision but might otherwise not be in a position access the next stage of housing (i.e. long-term temporary accommodation).

The need for this type of provision was recognised by Homes England and the GLA who have set up a Move-on fund to encourage providers to increase this type of provision.

BCWA will add value to the existing housing provision in the borough and will alleviate pressures on the local authority to provide housing for families leaving refuge with ongoing support needs.

Women will be able to stay in this accommodation until their support needs are met, for up to two years. This will ensure that those women with the need for longer term support receive appropriate support until suitable long-term housing is secured and thereby reducing the risk of repeat victimisation as well as minimising the number of moves families have to make when leaving refuge.

Meeting the Need

Bromley & Croydon Women’s Aid’s Safer Futures project has secured  investment funding from Social and Sustainable Capital Housing Fund.

SASC is an impact led social investor that was established in 2012, and has provided more that £25m to over 20 charities and social enterprises. The SASC housing fund is designed to provide small charities to medium sized charities with the finance to fund 100% of the property purchase plus associated costs without requiring fixed term mortgage-like repayments.

SASC has expertise in funding this type of supported housing for women experiencing domestic abuse in other parts of the country.

This investment will fund the purchase of 11 self-contained dispersed properties of varying sizes (1-3 bedroom) throughout Bromley and Croydon. These will be able to cater to a variety of survivors ranging from single women to women & their children.

The dispersed properties will support victims of domestic abuse with low and medium level needs living in refuges; and cannot move on because of a lack of suitable supported accommodation.

Families requiring longer term support will be identified by refuge officer in emergency refuge accommodation and referred to the Safer Futures project. A domestic abuse worker will develop a support plan with the survivor and will visit the family on a regular basis to monitor progress against the plan, including:

  • Property / personal safety
  • Tenancy sustainment support – how to open bank accounts, dealing with utility companies, how to manage household bills etc.
  • Support with accessing local services – local schools / further education / training facilities, job centres, medical and dental services, places of worship, disability support
  • Housing admissions
  • Liaison with outside specialist involved with the family
  • Signposting and referral to specialist support
  • Engaging in the community and building a support network
  • Training and education
  • Managing personal finances


BCWA recognise that some of the best developments are designed using a degree of innovation, employed in response to the local area or the needs of specific client groups.

Some of the properties are located close to each other. This will allow survivors who have left the refuge to feel as if they are in a community and they are not on their own. This is especially important for those who have fled their family home, their local area and their friends and family, helping to build new support networks and reducing isolation when first leaving refuge.

The women moving into these properties will receive immediate and on-going support to sustain their tenancies and achieve the following outcomes:

  • Financial independence. This may include help with benefits, rent payments and rent arrears repayment schedules, and setting up utility payments.
  • Learn crucial living skills such as budgeting and cooking.
  • Access training or employment opportunities and work towards digital inclusion.
  • Prevent tenancy breakdowns
  • Reduce the social and economic exclusion.

How it will work

Referral pathway for women moving on from BCWA’s refuges after 6-9 months or referral from local authority housing department or refuges commission to other providers by the local authority.

The client is assisted to apply for housing benefit to cover the supported accommodation.

The properties will be “Exempt accommodation”, this is where the accommodation is provided by a landlord in the social or voluntary sector and the benefit claimant is provided with caresupport or supervision by the landlord or by someone acting on the landlord’s behalf.

Exempt accommodation is a category of “specified accommodation”, usually referred to as Category 1 (of 4). Supported accommodation means accommodation in which the tenant or licensee receives care, support or supervision that is linked in some way to their accommodation: as a general rule, the tenant or licensee would not be living in the dwelling in the first place unless they needed the associated care, support or supervision.

Properties to be purchased and opened in staged process over a 22 month period, which is well underway with 5 properties purchased so far and 5  more currently in conveyancing.

Please contact for more information.

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