Following a successful petition to Bristol City Council from a survivor, around the impact of the council housing banding system for victims of domestic abuse, Bristol City Council has now drafted a proposal that sets out a change to how Bristol City Council prioritises victims of domestic abuse living in refuge provision through Home Choice Bristol.
Within the context of increasing demand for affordable rented properties the focus of the Council is to help those who are most at risk to move quickly in to safe acommodation. The proposal prioritises high risk victims of domestic abuse by awarding them Band 1 (highest priority), with decisions being made at MARAC (the local multi agency risk assessment conference).
A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared and decisions are made on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), probation and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors. The DASH (Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence) risk assessment is completed by individual agencies, which then determines which cases get considered by MARAC.
The proposal is that only women who are engaged with a MARAC are moved into housing Band 1.
Bristol City Council are asking people for their views on their proposal as they want to ensure that any change in policy meets the needs of this client group and is effective in delivering the desired outcome of moving home quickly. They are particularly keen on getting the views of practitioners who work with survivors of domestic abuse and survivors themselves but are also interested in responses from the wider public on this issue.
Details of the draft policy are here.
The consultation has been extended until Friday 6 Jan 2017
Please see our working document here which gives you some ideas on how to respond to the questions and what extra information to include. It would be great for you to reinforce and highlight these ideas but please use your own words as the Council will not accept responses that are cut and pasted with the same text used, they also want to hear a variety of voices and opinions so please try to explain why you think this is important from your perspective.
You can also respond through 38 Degrees which has some useful explainers and will be collated and sent to the Council separately. Please do not respond to both as this will not be counted as separate responses.
Read the Bristol Zero Tolerance and Bristol Women’s Voice consultation response here.