As project leader of the European Safe at Home Project, that includes social housing providers in tackling Domestic Abuse, I’ve learned how important the role of social housing providers can – and should- be. But I have to admit that I never fully realized how challenging the task of social housing providers is. The inspiring plenary sessions, with their appealing examples of the vital the role of social housing providers can play in building communities and in creating safe and inviting living environments, put my ideas of the sector in a broader perspective. And made me question what the effect could be if policy makers and the general public shared this understanding!
In the light of these future-changing topics, I’m very grateful that the International Social Housing Festival enabled me to put domestic violence on the agenda during the opening event. In the discussions I had about this topic all people I spoke with believed that social housing providers should play an important role in tackling domestic violence, however it is not automatically a topic that is (high) on their agenda. I truly believe that we can only end domestic violence by working together. And that when housing providers take responsibility, this also contributes to their task of creating safe and inviting living environments.