What is the Whole Housing Approach?

The Whole Housing Approach (WHA) is a framework for addressing the housing and safety needs of victim/survivors in a local area. It brings together under one umbrella all the main housing tenure types alongside the housing options and support initiatives needed to help people experiencing domestic abuse to either maintain or access safe and stable housing.

Central to the effective provision of a WHA is the role of the WHA Coordinator who ensures these initiatives are delivered in a safe, consistent, and coordinated way. The provision of specialist domestic abuse services is also essential for providing critical advocacy and support for victim/survivors in accessing these options and initiatives.

The WHA mission is to:

  • Improve access to safe and stable housing across all housing tenure types (social, private rented and private ownership). It considers the need for move on from refuge services and other types of temporary or emergency accommodation into more settled housing and;
  • Ensure access to a range of housing options and initiatives tailored for domestic abuse, giving choice for people experiencing domestic abuse to relocate or remain in their existing accommodation.

Its key aims are to:

  • Create earlier identification and intervention for domestic abuse through mobilising social and private landlords and key institutions involved in private ownership
  • Reduce the number of people who are made homeless as a result of domestic abuse
  • Increase tenancy sustainment options so that people experiencing domestic abuse can remain safely in their home when it is their choice to do so or do not lose their tenancy status if they relocate. This includes social housing landlords taking action to remove perpetrators from properties through enforcement and positive engagement activities.
  • To bring together the housing and domestic abuse sectors through a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to keep victim/survivors safe and hold abusers to account

A WHA currently includes 14 components that can be categorised into two parts as demonstrated in the diagram below. 

  1. The green circles represent the main tenure types: social housing, the private rented sector, privately owned, supported/sheltered accommodation. Refuge Services are included in this as they offer a form of emergency accommodation accompanied support from a dedicated or specialist domestic abuse service.
  2. The white circles represent the housing options, initiatives and domestic abuse support offered to victim/survivors across the main tenure types, including Co-Located Advocacy, Mobile Advocacy, Flexible Funding, WHA Coordination, Sanctuary Scheme, Managed Reciprocals, Move On Accommodation, Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) accreditation and Perpetrator Management.