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Financial advice and emotional support on how you can ease the cost of living squeeze.

Sanctuary Scheme: guidance

The Sanctuary Scheme has been set up to help families to stay in their homes if they have become victims of domestic violence or hate crime.

Working with Uttlesford's Housing Options Team

The Sanctuary Scheme is funded from Uttlesford District Council's (UDC) homelessness prevention budget. To be eligible for the scheme a victim/ survivor will be asked to work with the council to prevent homelessness as a result of the risk to them.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 recognises the importance of a whole housing approach to domestic abuse. Therefore, when a victim/ survivor is referred to the Sanctuary Scheme, they are contacted by the Housing Options Team. A Housing Options Officer will provide advice and may create a personal housing plan as part of the homelessness prevention work. The advice will include information regarding the suitability of the Sanctuary Scheme, a referral to Next Chapter for support and information about alternative options if relevant.

If the victim/ survivor is a tenant of a housing association with it's own sanctuary scheme, the referral will be passed to the Landlord and the Housing Options Team will request the outcome of that referral. Contact with the council and any arising actions will be recorded as advice only.

If the victim/ survivor is a tenant of a UDC Council property, the Housing Options Team will work with the Housing Management Team to provide advice and assistance. The victim/ survivor will be asked to agree to work with the housing options team to prevent homelessness. A referral may be made to Safe Partnership if appropriate.

Victims/ survivors who are tenants of a social landlord without a Sanctuary Scheme or residents with private sector tenure will be asked to agree to work with the housing options team to prevent homelessness. A referral may be made to Safe Partnership if appropriate.

If the Sanctuary Scheme is not deemed suitable, the Housing Options Team will continue to work with the victim/ survivor under a homelessness application to meet the needs of the victim/ survivor.

Safe Partnership

Safe Partnership is a charity that specialises in home security measures and personal safety advice for victims of violence, crime, and abuse.  The staff have enhanced DBS and are fully trained.

Safe Partnership's aim is to make the homes of victims and survivors of violence and abuse safe and secure so that they and their families can remain in their own homes, alleviating the disruption of relocating and allows them to retain the support of professional services, their family and the community when they are at their most vulnerable.

Safe Partnership operate a one stop by surveying and completing the measures at the same appointment they avoid leaving the client concerned about the additional security that is needed, and together with personal safety advice they aim to reassure them when they are often feeling traumatised.

Safe Partnership run a robust referral system to provide a quick and effective response for both clients and stakeholders.

Safe Partnership process

  1. Nominated/authorised referrers send a completed referral form to Safe Partnership using the email:
  2. Acknowledgement will be sent to the referrer.
  3. The co-ordinator contacts the client on the day the referral is received.
  4. The co-ordinator seeks landlord permission if required.
  5. A convenient appointment will be arranged, usually within 48 hours.
  6. If the client needs additional support this will be taken into consideration when making the appointment.
  7. The co-ordinator will advise the referrer once an appointment has been confirmed.
  8. The security installer surveys, and risk assesses the surroundings on arrival at the property and carries out a comprehensive security assessment of the property and discuss with the client ongoing personal safety plans.
  9. After the measures have been completed the security installer demonstrates any new products.
  10. The co-ordinator would confirm the work has been completed and advise the referrer of any further issues that need addressing.

Packages of security measures

Basic Security

Two locking points, door chain and viewer to front door; three locking points to back and side doors; window locks on ground floor windows; locking devices to upstairs windows that give access from extensions.

Basic Plus

All the above plus Birmingham/London bar; double locking night latch; personal safety alarm, property marking kit; segment timer for interior lighting.

Add-ons to the above all add-ons must be agreed in writing by a senior officer at Uttlesford District Council prior to installation: hinge bolts, door panels, window shock alarms, wrist alarms, PIR lighting, Mailsafe or another appropriate letterbox measure.

Safe/Sanctuary Rooms

In addition to the target hardening measures set out above an appropriate room will be selected and the door will be changed for a fire rated door set that is re-hung to open outwards and fitted with appropriate locks, hinge bolts, intumescent strips and a door viewer.

Fire Safety

Security installers will carry out a basic fire safety check and fit smoke alarms as required. Housing Options Team to make a referral to the Essex County Fire & Rescue Service, Home Safety Team where client has had a threat of arson against them or when a safe room is installed.