Domestic violence, housing instability, and homelessness: A review of housing policies and program practices for meeting the needs of survivors

Evidence suggests that domestic violence is among the leading causes of housing instability (including homelessness) nationally for women and children. In this paper, we focus on housing policies and practices that may inadvertently make it more difficult for women to secure stable housing after having left an abusive partner. We review the types of housing options available for survivors of domestic violence, as well as housing policies and practices, including their strengths and limitations. In addition, the level of coordination between domestic violence and housing/homeless service systems is discussed. Our rationale for this review is to highlight not only the intent of specific policies and programs but also the effect of their implementation on women's ability to secure stable housing. Finally, we explore alternatives to current housing policies and program practices that may serve as models for how to think “outside the box” so that women's housing and safety needs can be better met.

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Aggression and Violent Behavior