London’s Violence Reduction Unit joins forces with housing associations

A new partnership has been announced between London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and nine housing associations to work with communities to identify and put in place projects to drive down violence, delivering targeted support for young people.

The VRU and housing associations will develop measures such as mentoring support for young people, skills development to help young people better manage conflict, counselling to prevent reoffending, training for parents and the wider community to identify risk factors and the provision of safe spaces for young people.

The VRU, set up by the Mayor in 2018 and the first of its kind in England, works with London’s communities and partners to tackle the causes of violence and to promote positive opportunities.

It is now formed a three-year partnership with housing associations, including Catalyst, Clarion Housing Group, and Hyde, to reduce violence across seven London boroughs.

white concrete building during daytime

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘The causes of violent crime are extremely complex and involve deep-seated problems like poverty, inequality, social alienation and a lack of opportunities for young people. I established London’s Violence Reduction Unit, the first in England, to fund programmes that provide young people with positive opportunities and help Londoners into employment and training.

‘It’s crucial we work with others, like housing associations in our city, because we know poor housing and deprivation go hand in hand and can often be an underlying cause of violence. Housing associations can deliver local solutions to tackling these issues and share our approach to diverting vulnerable young Londoners away from violence by providing them with help and support at key moments in their lives.’

Lib Peck, director of London’s Violence Reduction Unit, said: ‘Central to our approach to tackling violence is partnering with others across London on prevention and early intervention. We must all work together to reduce violence and help empower local communities to shape the projects we deliver.

‘That’s why I’m really pleased that this new partnership, which sits alongside work we do with the NHS, local councils, education providers and community groups, will allow us to work with housing associations in key areas of the city, drawing on their local connections and resources to better support young people and families.’

In related news, the Mayor of London has agreed a deal with government to provide nearly £3.5bn for new homes with councils and housing associations across London in the first round of bidding for the Mayor’s five-year affordable housing programme.

Photo by Edward Howell


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