A social housing provider in Nottingham is supporting women and children who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse or violence to rebuild their lives.

Nottingham City Homes Registered Provider (NCHRP) successfully bid for £400,000 of funding from Homes England to acquire and refurbish eight homes, as part of the Government’s Move On fund. When ready, women and families will move out of refuges and into these homes on their journey to a new permanent home.

NCHRP is working with Nottingham City Council and refuge providers at Central Women’s Aid, Juno Women’s Aid and Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing to support families into these new homes.

The first of these eight homes are now in use and supporting women and families. They will continue to be supported by the refuge partners and will be assisted in securing a permanent home when they are able to move on.

The Move On Fund aims to free up essential refuge and hostel spaces by increasing the availability of affordable ‘move-on’, or second stage housing. This will assist women and families currently living in refuges, who are ready to leave this type of provision but might otherwise not be ready to access permanent housing.

Cllr Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage at Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s important for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence to have the right support and this funding will towards giving these survivors somewhere safe to live.

“Violence and abuse can destroy the lives of victims, their families and those closest to them. Protecting women and girls from violence, and supporting victims and survivors, is incredibly important and it needs a joined-up, collaborative response.  This funding will ensure victims of domestic abuse and their children are able to access safe accommodation, a crucial step in supporting them to recover and rebuild their lives.”

Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at NCHRP, said: “Once people have escaped domestic abuse and have received the immediate support they need, the next priority is helping them move on from refuges into somewhere safe and stable to live. These homes will offer a vital stepping stone as people are supported to live more independently and move on with their lives.

“We have a long history of working with partners to help and support people to get back on their feet and we know from feedback, that these families appreciate this vital help during difficult times for them.”

A spokesperson from the Central Women’s Aid “We are really pleased to be a partner in this new project and to be able to offer the families in our refuge an opportunity to access more independent living while they wait for safe permanent housing. These properties are homes for families who are ready to move on from our refuge and this in turn enables women who need to escape violence to be able to access refuge more quickly. The demand for refuge spaces is greater than what is available and therefore this new project is essential and extremely welcomed.”