VICTIMS of domestic abuse have a new safe house to help them move on with their lives.
Fareham Borough Council is one of the first authorities in the county to offer a home to a family as part of the new Hampshire Making Safe Scheme.
It is very important for us to have got involved in the scheme.Councillor Sean Woodward
The other is in the New Forest and both are part of a wider project to provide 47 homes across Hampshire for those suffering domestic abuse.
Leader the council Sean Woodward said it was important for Fareham to provide safe homes.
‘People do need refuge for a number of different reasons,’ he said.
‘It’s very important for us to have got involved in the scheme.
‘Across the county it will give 47 adults and around 200 children a stable home.
‘We’re taking domestic abuse very seriously and it is serious matter.
‘People live in fear of their lives so it is important we address that.’
He added the home would protect victims from physical domestic abuse but also emotional and psychological.
This year, central government invited councils to bid for funding to increase the amount of accommodation available to people suffering from domestic abuse.
All district councils in Hampshire worked in partnership to bid for the funding, led by Hart District Council.
The largest award of money given by the government through the funding programme came to Hampshire – a total of £905,000.
Some councils match-funded the amount.
The houses available will be a mixture of council-owned homes and private rented properties.
Executive member for housing at the county council Cllr Kay Mandry said he was proud of Fareham being one of the first.
‘This is a hugely important project which will help lots of families to have a stable home,’ he said.
‘I’m proud that Fareham is one of the first to offer a home to one family, helping them to move on with their lives and plan a positive future for themselves.’
The rest of the homes will become available across Hampshire during the next few months.
Most will be family-sized properties and will provide both temporary and longer-term accommodation for people who need to move away from abusive situations or are currently in refuge.