The majority of sexual assaults occur at or near the survivor’s home and just over a third of the perpetrators are family members. Therefore, the need for alternative housing becomes paramount to the healing process. When basic needs for safety are not met, the ability to focus on physical, mental and spiritual health is decreased.
The cost of relocation can be but one barrier to safe housing. There are the costs associated with the move itself, but also the potential lack of income from the perpetrating family member. This increase in expense coupled by loss of income often leaves survivors in dangerous living conditions, decreasing their options to staying in their current housing or facing homelessness.
The 2018 report on housing needs assessment by the Central Virginia Regional Housing Partnership of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission points to the current housing crisis in the Blue Ridge Health District. There is a dismal lack of affordable, stable and safe housing. Not one county in our service area is unaffected by this crisis.
What can we, as community members, do to support efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing thus promising hope for healing and justice for our survivors?
Per the TJPDC report, some fixes involve financial assistance, housing renovations, homebuyer counseling, permanent supportive housing, a one-stop center for access to housing assistance, provision of development sites, community land trusts, supportive infrastructure, employer-assisted housing and/or an overall expansion of the housing supply through zoning and regulatory reform.
These endeavors take money and the political will of the community. Many folks in the area are already doing great advocacy on the affordable housing issues. You can join them in their work.
EDUCATE YOURSELF AND GET INVOLVED. SUPPORT THE PROMISE OF HEALING AND JUSTICE FOR OUR SEXUAL VIOLENCE SURVIVORS!!!!!
Habitat for Humanity and it’s various chapters in the area https://www.greenehabitatva.org/; https://piedmonthabitat.org/this-is-your-habitat/where-habitat-serves/nelson.html; https://www.fluvannahabitat.org/; https://hfhlouisa.org/welcome-to-habitat-for-humanity-louisa-county/; https://www.cvillehabitat.org/
Piedmont Housing Alliance: https://piedmonthousingalliance.org/
Fluvanna-Louisa Housing Foundation https://www.fluvannacounty.org/socialservices/page/fluvanna-louisa-housing-foundation
Nelson County Community Development Foundation: https://nccdf.org/
Skyline CAP: http://skylinecap.org/housing/
Shelter for Help in Emergency: https://www.shelterforhelpinemergency.org/
The Haven: https://www.thehaven.org
Local people to follow to better understand the housing issues in the area: