The Whole Housing Approach, UK

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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.

Date

  • 2018: Implementation

Stakeholders

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

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: London, United Kingdom

Description

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.

Shepherdess Walk Housing

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Shepherdess Walk Housing

Urban Design

Main objectives of the project

Shepherdess Walk is a contemporary residential development in central London, blending with the historical context of the area. The project features houses and apartments with a split-level design, offering spatial generosity and flexibility. The exterior spaces vary, including walled gardens for houses and panoramic views for apartments. The design draws inspiration from the historical terraced housing of Shepherdess Walk, with subtle variations in façades and a folding effect to create a connection with the surrounding Georgian terrace. The apartment building complements the larger post-war housing nearby. Both buildings are clad in brick, reflecting the local materiality. Deep window reveals and raw interior materials such as plaster, timber, concrete, brass, and steel add character and patina over time. Handcrafted elements like walnut handrails and brass ironmongery provide a tactile quality.

Date

  • 2015: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Architect: Jaccaud Zein Architects

Location

Continent: Europe
City: London
Country/Region: London, United Kingdom

Description

Shepherdess Walk is a new residential development in central London, located near to Old Street roundabout, on the border of Shoreditch, London’s technology hub and design district of Clerkenwell. Situated at the corner of Shepherdess Walk and Wenlock Street, the project establishes positive relations with the different historical conditions and formal qualities of the site to propose an unapologetically contemporary project for a terrace of houses and an apartment building with a strong sense of place.

A split-level section was developed in collaboration with Solidspace and has been applied to both houses and apartments. This configuration allows for the juxtaposition of rooms with different usages around double-height connected spaces, offering a sense of spatial generosity and continuity. The complexity of the section is not immediately apparent from the exterior with only hints given by the large-scale windows to the presence of the double height spaces.

The split-level arrangement introduced a strong potential for flexibility for the apartments, allowing for possible subdivisions within each unit with multiple access to the stairwell. This flexibility allows for a possible fragmentation of scale and an evolution of use through time to meet the demands of multiple occupancy, of children growing up, of partial rental of the unit, of working from home or just varying use of the different rooms.

Every dwelling has an exterior space with a variety of specific qualities. If the houses have rear walled gardens which echo the surrounding Georgian types the apartments have a diversity of exterior spaces which open up to spectacular views at the top of the building, incorporating views of London and it’s surroundings into the building. Shepherdess Walk has a rich historical heritage of terraced housing and fragments of the continuous Georgian frontages, still visible despite the heavy bomb damage suffered during the Second World War. The project draws on this historical fabric and reinstates three terraced houses on Shepherdess Walk in a contemporary reinterpretation of the type. Gentle variations of the façades enable a subtle closure of the street towards the adjacent park, giving both orientation to the open space from within the building and clarification of the boundaries of the streetscape. This slight folding echoes the geometry of the adjacent Georgian terrace, reinforcing the historical identity of the street. Facing on to Wenlock Street, the first house folds more sharply asserting its presence towards the south and opening the angle of the site towards a second apartment building. This shift in scale between the two buildings generates a vivid urban juxtaposition that reinforces the presence of the corner in the neighborhood.

The apartment building rises in scale beyond the houses to stitch the development into the context of bigger scale post-war housing which extend beyond

Both buildings are clad in a brick that was chosen to reflect the patinated materiality of the surroundings, once again stitching the development into its context. Slight variations to the pointing of the brickwork allow for a horizontal banding to the apartment building façade, directing the gaze along the depth of the street and marking an articulation in the bulk of the building. Deep window reveals emphasise the threshold between the intimacy of the interior spaces and the street giving a sense of weight and presence to the buildings. All internal spaces have been developed using a palette of raw materials, plaster, timber, concrete brass and steel which are designed to patinate with use, giving each space a specific and unique character which will develop through time. Handrails and ironmongery have been designed to offer a sensual tactile quality, using hand crafted traditional materials such as solid walnut and brass.

Authors:

Thames Reach Housing

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Thames Reach Housing

Urban Design

Main objectives of the project

Date

  • 1989: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Architect: Richard Rogers

Location

Continent: Europe
City: London
Country/Region: London, United Kingdom

Description