The Whole Housing Approach, UK


The Whole Housing Approach, UK

Mismatches Cultural suitability Vulnerable groups Gender
Policies and regulations National policies Local policies

Main objectives of the project

The Whole Housing Approach (WHA) is a comprehensive strategy designed to address the housing and safety requirements of individuals affected by domestic abuse within a local community. It integrates various housing tenure types and support initiatives essential for aiding victims/survivors in maintaining or obtaining secure housing. The overarching aim of WHA is to enhance the accessibility of safe and stable housing across all housing tenure categories, including social, private rented, and private ownership. It encompasses facilitating transitions from refuge services and temporary accommodations to more permanent housing solutions. Furthermore, WHA strives to provide a diverse array of housing options and tailored initiatives for individuals impacted by domestic abuse, empowering them with the choice to either relocate or remain in their current living arrangements.


  • 2018: Implementation


  • Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA)
  • Standing Together Against Domestic Violence (STADV)


Continent: Europe
Country/Region: London, United Kingdom


In the UK, the Femicide Census, a collaboration between Karen Ingala Smith and Women’s Aid, has revealed that 75% of women killed by current or former partners in 2016 were murdered in their own homes. Victims of domestic abuse reside in various types of housing, and a significant number of them, along with their children, become homeless each year in efforts to seek safety. Consequently, there is a pressing need for affordable and secure housing solutions.

Standing Together Against Domestic Violence (STADV), a London-based domestic abuse service, has been instrumental in pioneering the Coordinated Community Response approach in the UK. Alongside housing associations Gentoo and Peabody, STADV co-founded the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) in 2014, a nationwide initiative aimed at enhancing the housing sector's response to domestic abuse. Furthermore, STADV is a key partner in implementing the 'Whole Housing Approach' project, launched in 2018, which involves multiple agencies, domestic abuse services, housing providers, and local authorities across three pilot sites in England.

The objective of this program is to enhance housing options for families impacted by domestic abuse through a holistic housing approach. By recognizing that families have varying degrees of need, the program aims to eliminate the necessity for them to become homeless in order to escape abuse. Across ten local authority areas in England, the project collaborates with specialist domestic abuse services, housing providers, private landlords, and financial institutions. Victims receive tailored support to enhance safety in their homes, and if necessary, facilitate relocation without forfeiting their social tenancy. The program also allocates funds to enhance safety, stability, and prevent homelessness. Tailored training programs have been developed to enhance the skills and knowledge of housing providers and landlords in identifying domestic abuse and offering appropriate support.

A significant challenge encountered was the need to align the diverse stakeholders required to maximize impact across existing organizational and systemic barriers. Typically, homelessness, housing, and domestic abuse services operate independently, leading to fragmented responses. To address this, a partnership comprising over 25 organizations across three regions was established. This involved assembling a dedicated team capable of articulating how organizations can collaborate effectively to identify and prevent domestic abuse at an early stage.

The program is financially supported by the Ministry of Housing and the Local Government Domestic Abuse Fund 2018-2020, having been awarded £1.45 million over an 18-month period.