Posted on 11 December 2023
To mark the end of White Ribbon Day and our 16 Days of Action, we’re highlighting how our Advice and Advocacy team works with victims of domestic abuse to prevent eviction.
Joseph Clark, Advice and Advocacy Advisor, tells us more:
“Natalie* (aged 45) was a victim of domestic abuse and was referred to me by our Income team last year. After a year’s work, we concluded the case in June this year.
Three years ago, Natalie’s ex-partner was imprisoned for domestic abuse, including physical, mental and financial abuse. Natalie was living in a Hyde home in Lambeth, with her four children: two sons, aged 16 and 9, and two daughters, aged 14 and 7.
The domestic abuse Natalie had endured not only had a profound impact on her, but also on her family. In September 2021, Natalie was placed in a detox centre and then after 11 days in rehabilitation for alcohol dependency. Her rehabilitation ended in December 2021 and she then returned to her Hyde home.
Working to prevent eviction
During this turbulent time, Natalie’s rent arears rose to £10,816.06 and she was faced with eviction.
We immediately began working with Natalie. Natalie is unable to read or write, so we all worked together to find solutions, for example Natalie’s eldest daughter worked as a ‘translator’. We set up an alternative payment arrangement (APA) – a direct payment for her rent to be paid from Universal Credit and an amount to reduce her arrears.
I also applied for a Discretionary Housing Payment and after six months of perseverance, I was able to get a payment from the council.
I also worked with Hyde Foundation and matched a Domestic Abuse Fund grant payment for £2,335.95.
Team work meant that her rent account has now been reduced to £535 (Universal Credit pays in arrears), and meant that Natalie could stay in her home.
Supporting our customers
As well as working with Natalie to prevent eviction, we provided support around fuel poverty, provided fuel voucher top ups and provided support with repairs in her home.”
Natalie was so relieved and grateful for the support she received, she wrote (via her daughter) to thank us:
Hello there. My name is Natalie and I am writing today to say how Hyde, in particular Joseph Clark, helped me. I am so grateful for how Joseph and his team have been helping me and my children through these difficult times, I found out that I was over £10,000 in arrears and was in the process of getting evicted.
Joseph and his team were allocated to me to help try to resolve the arrears and keep a roof over me and my children’s head. He promised me at the start that he would help and that is what the team have done. He was able to get a grant from your Domestic Abuse fund to go towards my rent and a discretionary payment from the council.
I am now out of arrears and able to pay my rent properly as Joseph has helped me manage my arrears. Thank you Joseph again and to all the staff that helped me and my family through this.
*names and locations have been changed.
For information and resources on domestic abuse visit our domestic abuse support page.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic abuse you can access help and support from the National Domestic Violence Helpline, Women’s Aid and Refuge on 0808 2000 247.
If you or others are in immediate danger, phone the police on 999.