Transitional Housing Support Program

Purpose

In April 2006, Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) entered into a cross-sectoral agreement with Niagara Transitional and Housing Program Providers to assist victims of domestic violence fleeing abuse to attain and maintain affordable housing.

The purpose of Transitional Housing Support Programs (THSP) is to:

  • Improve the lives of women and children who are victims of domestic abuse
  • Assist victims to connect with community supports
  • Find and maintain housing
  • Strengthen the relationships between Niagara's affordable housing providers and Niagara's THSP

Description

Guiding principles:

  • Safety and well-being of the victims and their children will be the first consideration
  • Informing victims of options & resources allows them to own and make informed decisions for themselves and their children
  • Respect a woman’s right to make her own choices

Role of NRH

NRH demonstrates their commitment to the needs of applicants fleeing abusive relationships by:

  • Actively encouraging victims to accept THSP support at the initial point of contact
  • Providing information to prospective applicants regarding affordable housing options in Niagara
  • Dedicating staff to processing Special Priority Policy (SPP) requests in a timely, sensitive and confidential manner
  • Referring clients, where appropriate, to community supports
  • Ensuring SPP applicants are offered first available vacancies
  • Developing annual training to improve sensitivity and awareness to violence against women issues

Role of THSP

The THSP is dedicated to assisting abused women build stable lives by helping them establish a network of supports by:

  • Responding to referrals from NRH and housing providers in a timely manner
  • Helping women to identify the supports they need through referrals to community agencies
  • Providing budget management and life skills training

Role of Affordable Housing Providers

Housing providers have the role of accommodating SPP applicants as vacancies arise. The housing provider will actively work with THSP and other community agencies to enhance the tenant’s ability to reside successfully in the housing community by:

  • Meeting with the potential tenant/member prior to showing the unit, reviewing tenancy agreement and address safety issues
  • Reporting any signs of domestic violence or children at risk of abuse or neglect

Eviction Prevention

Eviction prevention strategies help women who have fled domestic violence avoid eviction, possible homelessness or return to the abuser. NRH, housing providers, and Niagara THSP’s will communicate and coordinate services and supports to prevent eviction. Housing providers can mitigate evictions by addressing tenancy issues quickly and working together to find positive solution.

Evictions

If, as a last resort, the tenant/member is facing eviction, NRH and housing providers will provide information on available community supports.

Safety Features

Providing for the physical safety of victims and their children is a paramount concern. NRH will, through training and best practices, encourage housing providers to improve and upgrade security features. This would include items such as deadbolts, window locking devices, peepholes, lock changes on move out and exterior lighting.

Partners

  • Bethlehem Housing and Support Services
  • Gillian's Place
  • Women's Place of South Niagara Inc., Nova House
  • Serenity Place
  • Centre de santè communautaire Hamilton/Niagara
  • Linge de soutien pour femmes victimes de violence
  • West Niagara Second Stage Housing & Counselling Services

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