Women’s Housing Movement

By Victoria Tomlinson · 8 May 2024

Women’s Housing Movement – Why is it needed?

The number of women experiencing homelessness is growing. Shelter reported that in the last 10 years alone it has increased by 88%. The impact of systemic gender inequality on pathways into and experiences of homelessness is recognised by many in the homelessness sector, but it is by no means commonly understood or accepted.

There is a lack of varied and flexible accommodation options for women, most notably single-gender accommodation which constitutes 11.1% of accommodation for single homeless women. Services which are designed for everyone without recognising the difference that gender makes, can privilege access for men. There is a need to untangle the impact of systemic inequalities on the design and delivery of services to provide an adequate response.

From the frontline to senior leadership, experts in the women’s and homelessness sector are developing practices to address the systemic inequalities that impact women’s homelessness. The activities which look to address this gap are ambitious and innovative in nature, ranging from the creation of new methodology to count women’s homelessness in London; the effective commissioning of a women’s pathway in Leeds; the development of a national accreditation framework for supported accommodation services to many local initiatives seeking to improve and develop local services for women.

The women’s housing movement is a platform for practitioners across the homelessness, criminal justice, women’s sector and beyond to work together to improve the support to women experiencing homelessness. It is a forum through which best practice can be shared and activities can be coordinated which aim to end women’s homelessness.

The Strategic Network

Purpose: The purpose of the strategic network is to act as a national forum in which the activities across the homelessness and women’s sector can be coordinated effectively to drive forward transformation of systems and develop best practice across the England.

The network enables collaboration through the exchanging of information, ideas, and the creation of a shared workstream to address key priorities identified by the network.

Aims and Objectives:

  • Foster a spirit of collaboration and solidarity, increase collective ability to influence systems change nationally and locally.
  • Connect organisations across the women sectors, readily exchange information to build collective knowledge and understanding.
  • Identify shared commitments and a shared work plan.
  • Monitor and evaluate progress of the shared work plan.
  • Disseminate information and learning to women’s networks and other local networks.

The network is open to anyone working for an organisation that supports women experiencing homelessness who has the skills, expertise and capacity to contribute. This contribution involves attending the quarterly national meeting and leading or participating in the work of one of the identified priorities.


How can you join: Contact the Chair Vicki Tomlinson


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