Young Londoner’s experiences are shaped by the world in which they live and the places where they spend time their time.

We understand the impacts the wider context of their lives can have on their safety and the harm they may face outside of the family. Whether this be the area where they live, where they spend their leisure time, their education setting, the businesses they frequent, or the ways that they travel around the city and beyond.

Drawing on Contextual Safeguarding approaches, we’re working with partners and directly in the community, to ensure that the places and spaces where young Londoners spend their time are safe and positive.

Housing

We work with partners across all of London to help people to find safe and secure homes*.

Whether this is through our the work done by our specialist Housing Advocacy officers, or our managed housing reciprocal, we aim to ensure that young Londoners and their families affected by violence and exploitation feel safe where they live.

*Safer London is not a housing provider and we can’t support Londoners in need of emergency housing.

Our housing service offer

The Pan-London Housing Reciprocal

People affected by violence who live in social housing face a difficult choice – they can either remain at risk or end up becoming homeless.

Through effective partnerships, we help to relocate social housing tenants affected by domestic abuse and other forms of violence, whilst maintaining their tenancy rights by accessing a social tenancy in a safer borough. Reducing the risk of violence and homelsness.

By connecting local authorities and housing providers, individuals and families impacted by violence are able to move to a London borough that is safe for them, and to a property that they can afford.

Who is this service for

The Pan-London Housing Reciprocal supports Londoners
with, or owed, a social tenancy who are also at risk of
violence in their borough.

The scheme is for Londoners affected by:

– Domestic violence and abuse
– Sexual violence and exploitation (including – prostitution and trafficking)
– So called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage
– Stalking
– Hate crime
– Serious youth violence

Whilst we hope that moves can be facilitated quickly, this isn’t always the case and the Pan London Housing Reciprocal shouldn’t be considered as emergency accommodation.

 

One to one Housing Advocacy

It is often the case that a young Londoner’s safety is greatly impacted the area in which they live.

At Safer London we have specialist Housing Advocacy Officers who work alongside young Londoners, raising awareness of their housing options and assisting them with applications for both social and private accommodation.

Our one to one housing advocacy work is delivered as part of our one to one support to young Londoners affected by violence. Please visit our People pages for more information.

Referring into our services

How to make a referral

To make a referral for the Pan-London Housing Reciprocal please complete the online form.

For our one to one housiogn advocacy service we have a different online form. Please note: our online form is not compatible with Internet Explorer. We recommend using a different browser such as Google Chrome.

If you have any queries please email us at referralandassessmentteam@saferlondon.org.uk

Please check our referral criteria and guidance before making a referral.

Referral criteria and guidance – The Pan-London Housing Reciprocal

For the Pan-London Housing Reciprocal, we do not accept applications directly from individuals. We ask that professionals make applications on behalf of applicants. This can be any professional, including a housing officer or support worker.

For referrals affected by domestic and/or sexual violence, VAWG, hate crime and other community safety risks:

  • Applications must select a minimum of five London boroughs of choice.
  • Property offers will be capped at one offer per application.
  • All referrals require signposting to a domestic abuse service if one is not currently in
  • All referrals for domestic and/or sexual violence must register with Housing Moves and actively bid for properties via this
  • All applicants and professionals need to note that providers may conduct pre-tenancy checks (ensuring rent balance is in order or being address), and that removal and decoration costs are unlikely to be included in the offer, and rent in advance may be requested (particularly if the offer is from a housing association).
  • Floor requirements are accommodated with evidenced medical needs

For referrals affected by serious youth violence:

  • Applicants will have to note the borough(s) of risk, making sure all other boroughs are available as
  • Property offers will be capped at one offer per application.
  • A named professional or organisation who will be providing support to the individual or family must be included in the
  • All applicants and professionals need to note that providers may conduct pre-tenancy checks (ensuring rent balance is in order or being addressed), and that removal and decoration costs are unlikely to be included in the offer, and rent in advance may be requested (particularly if the offer is from a housing association).
  • Floor requirements are accommodated with evidenced medical needs

For further information on how to make a referral, the criteria and what happens after you make a referral please read our Professionals Guide. We also have a Tenants Guide that can be shared with Reciprocal applicants.

Referral criteria one to one housing advocacy support

Please check our People service page for criteria.

We welcome enquiries and referrals from all areas of the community whether directly from young Londoners, their families, friends or community groups; as well as professionals in statutory or non-statutory services who have concerns about the safety of those they come into contact with.

As well as professionals in statutory or non-statutory services who have concerns about the safety of those they come into contact with.

Communities

The school, local park, high street, leisure centre or shopping centre can all be places where young Londoners can experience harm.

Through training and consultation we’re working with local authorities, organisations and businesses to protect the young Londoners living in their communities.

How to make a referral

We  offer training and awareness raising support to professionals, businesses and communities covering themes around exploitation and violence and how this impacts young Londoners, families and communities.

Due to limited capacity we prioritise requests where training is responsive to an identified need to create safer places and spaces for young people.

To make a referral please complete the online form. Please note: our online form is not compatible with Internet Explorer. We recommend using a different browser such as Google Chrome.

If you have any queries please email us at referralandassessmentteam@saferlondon.org.uk (unsecure), referralandassessmentteam@saferlondon.org.uk.cjsm.net (secure).

For non CJSM users please send secure emails via Egress.

Frequently asked questions

What housing support does Safer London offer?

As an organisation Safer London is not a Housing Provider and we don’t have preferred access to any housing stock.

Our housing offer is that of support. We raise awareness of housing options available to young people in London and provide advice on how best to access that resource. We can advocate on behalf of the young person, referring them to housing providers and speaking on their behalf.

In extreme circumstances where the risk of serious imminent harm is evident and verified, we will seek to assist the most vulnerable to find places of safety. However, it must be noted that decisions about who is deemed vulnerable and therefore in priority need is not determined by us but by the definitions contained within the Housing Act 1996 s189 and the interpretations of that made by Housing Needs departments.

FAQ for professionals – The Pan-London Housing Reciprocal

How long does it take?

Once we processed your referral and received approval from the applicant’s landlord, we can circulate the property request within a week.  However, we’re unable to give a timescale on a property offer being made as it depends on properties becoming available in the boroughs requested. If there is an immediate risk please support your client to access temporary accommodation while waiting for a property offered through the Pan London Housing Reciprocal.

My client needs refuge/ emergency accommodation

The Pan-London Housing Reciprocal is not an emergency accommodation scheme as moves can take time. If your client is at immediate risk in their home, please support them to access emergency accommodation before making a referral to the Pan London Housing Reciprocal. It is essential that they do not relinquish their social tenancy while accessing emergency accommodation.

Can I make a referral for a family in temporary accommodation?

If the family had a social tenancy before being placed in temporary accommodation (TA), yes. It would be their original landlord who would need to approve their referral rather than the local authority who placed them in TA.

Is it a housing swap system?

The Pan-London Housing Reciprocal works as a ‘central pot’ rather than a direct swap between two applicants. If a family is successfully rehoused, their landlord will owe a property to the scheme and the landlord who rehoused them will be owed a property. As coordinator, Safer London keeps track of properties owed and ensures the system is fair for all partners. We advise against direct swaps due to the risks associated such as perpetrators harassing the new tenants or the previous address being disclosed.

Will the scheme pay for my client’s relocation or offer any additional support?

No. The referring agency needs to ensure that appropriate risk assessments are completed and sufficient support is provided including support around resettlement.

Please check our application guidance for additional information and considerations for those fleeing domestic abuse, other forms of violence against women and those at risk of harm from violence in the community.

What is my role as a nominating officer?

As Nominating Officer, you will be the main point of contact for the applicant, Safer London and any landlord making a property offer. Please stay in touch with the applicant and inform Safer London of any update including if the applicant no longer needs to move.

What is a Named Lead?

Each local authority or housing association signed up to the scheme has at least one designated Named Lead who will lead on approval reciprocal requests for their tenants.

Will my client be able to choose the area and property type?

The purpose of the Pan London Housing Reciprocal is to enable quick moves to areas where your client is not at risk, therefore increasing their safety. We match property offers with requests based on the number of bedrooms requested and the boroughs requested. We recommend applicants to include as many boroughs as possible where they would be safe and willing to move to. Property offers will reflect the existing social housing stock in London and as such are likely to be flats on estates.

What if the perpetrator is still living in the property?

Local authorities/registered providers are responsible for action relating to the perpetrator who may still be residing in the property. Where necessary and safe to do so, this can include eviction proceedings. When approving a reciprocal move for one of their tenants, the landlord agrees to owe a property to the Pan London Housing Reciprocal, whether or not they have evicted or moved the perpetrator from the property.

What is Safer London’s role?

Safer London’s role is to provide central coordination for reciprocal moves. Safer London will support moves between boroughs through keeping the central contact list up-to-date, receiving and disseminating requests and then tracking when offers are made. Safer London will ensure the centralised system is fair, with a cap which means that housing partners cannot make more than three successful referrals without successfully reciprocating a property to another borough or provider.

I want to make a complaint about the service, how do I do this?

All our complaints are processed via our complaints team. You can get in touch with them via email at complaints@saferlondon.org.uk

FAQ for tenants – The Pan-London Housing Reciprocal

I’d like to be referred to the Pan-London Housing Reciprocal, what should I do?

Any professional you work with can make a referral for you. We recommend discussing this with a professional you feel comfortable with such as a support worker, a social worker or a housing officer. If you are not working with any support agency, we recommend getting in contact with your landlord.

Once we receive your referral, we will seek approval from your landlord. Please note that some landlords have an internal process for approving referrals (e.g. an emergency panel).

What is a Nominating Officer?

Your Nominating Officer is usually the professional who completed the property request form with you. Your Nominating Officer will be the main point of contact between you, Safer London, and any landlord offering a property. Nominating officers can work in housing, social services or any other support agency. There can be more than one nominating officer.

Why can’t I be my own Nominating Officer?

Your property request form does not include your name to protect your identity and safety. Landlords who receive your property request, therefore, need to have the name and contact details of your nominating officer to contact them if they have a suitable property for you.

What happens once my request has been approved by my landlord?

Safer London will send your property request form to all the housing partners who have properties in the boroughs you requested. If a landlord has a property available, they will get in touch with your Nominating Officer and Safer London. Your Nominating Officer will then contact you to inform you of this offer and arrange a viewing.

How can I make changes to my application or get an update?

If you want to discuss your application or make any changes (for example including additional boroughs in your request) you can contact your nominating officer, who will then let the team at Safer London know what you would like changed.

Can I choose where to move?

You can choose which London boroughs to include in your property request. We can only send requests at a borough-wide level rather than specific areas or postcodes. If you are unsafe in one part of a borough, do not include it in your choices.

We advise you to include as many boroughs as possible as long as you would be safe and willing to move there. The more boroughs included the greater the chance a property offer will be made.

I want to move out of London

Currently we are unable to circulate requests for areas outside London boroughs. You may be eligible for other schemes that support moves out of London such as Homefinder or Housing Moves Seaside and Country Homes.

How long will it take?

Housing offers may take time and might not be possible in all cases. The more flexible you are with your request (for example the greater number of boroughs included), the more likely it is a property offer will come through quickly.

If you are not safe to remain in your home while waiting for an offer, you should contact your housing officer for further information and advice on emergency accommodation options.

What happens if I turn a property down?

If you turn down a property the local authority or housing association that offered the property will not generally offer you another one.

Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee if and when you will receive another property offer from other housing providers, and you will not receive unlimited offers. It is important to think carefully when declining.

What kind of property will I get?

All landlords should offer a property with the same number of bedrooms as your current property. Properties may vary in size and type, for example, it may be a flat, not a house, it may be smaller than your current property, and rent and secure tenancy type may differ. Property offers will often be on an estate as this is the social housing stock that exists in London.

This is all dependent on what is available in the areas requested. The huge benefit of the scheme is that you are able to keep a social tenancy and move to a safe area.

I have a pet

In some cases councils and housing associations may be able to offer a pet-friendly property, however, this cannot be guaranteed. Please specify on the property request form whether you would consider rehoming your pet in case pets are not allowed in the property offered.

FIND OUT ABOUT OUR WORK WITH PEOPLE

FIND OUT ABOUT OUR WORK WITH PEERS