Building Partnerships

Addressing survivors’ housing needs requires meaningful, sustained partnerships between domestic violence and sexual assault organizations and homelessness and housing providers. Community-based advocates in both systems, private landlords, public housing authorities, state-level coalitions, funders, and national organizations all have a role to play. We can meet shared goals when we work collaboratively to ensure that local programs, systems, institutions, and laws and policies are responsive to the unique challenges and opportunities at the intersection of domestic and sexual violence and housing.


To address the barriers to safe housing, partners can:

  • Be better prepared to help survivors understand and safely access the emergency, transitional, and longer-term housing options, as well as homelessness prevention options, available in their community.
  • Support full participation of domestic and sexual violence organizations in your Continuum of Care to increase survivor access to safe and available housing options.
  • Work collaboratively to ensure jurisdictions with existing coordinated entry systems or those developing coordinated entry systems, maintain survivor confidentiality, and utilize safety protocols to reduce risks for survivors seeking access to housing programs. 
  • Explore and adopt innovative homelessness prevention and housing models – such as Rapid Re-housing, Housing First and Flexible Spending – that have been tailored to the unique risks facing domestic and sexual violence survivors.
  • Ensure that the assessment tools and processes used to determine eligibility for housing are well-suited to survivors’ unique situations and safety needs.
  • Seek training and technical assistance to learn about best practices and ensure they are in compliance with federal, state, and local housing provisions designed to protect survivors and expand their access to safe and stable housing.

Key strategies for effective and sustainable partnerships include:

  • Take the time to learn from each other and to build trust and community.
  • Strive to understand each other’s roles, organizations and statutory mandates, professional limitations, and ethical obligations.
  • Seek common values and shared interests. Be clear about points of disagreement or conflict but commit to defining and working toward shared goals. Be creative and innovative when identifying common goals and solutions.
  • Continually assess the efficacy of the collaboration and make adjustments as needed.