Press Release

15 August 2022

Refuge responds to BBC Panorama investigation into profiteering in the supported housing market

Ruth Davison, Refuge CEO said:

‘Refuge is extremely concerned that an increasing number of landlords are entering the supported housing market, seemingly with the goal of achieving financial gain and without due regard to the quality of support that needs to be provided to people when they are at their most vulnerable and often in crisis.

Refuge is seeing more examples of companies setting up supposedly safe accommodation with no specialist experience of working with survivors of abuse, and without the necessary safeguards in place. These providers often provide only skeleton support and use Housing Benefit to fund their often-extortionate rents.

Accommodation like this is not suitable for women fleeing abuse, who need specialist support not just a roof over their heads. Expert service providers like Refuge provide safe accommodation, at a confidential address, where survivors can receive the support they need to rebuild their lives, free from abuse.’


Notes to editors
1. The full BBC Panorama investigation can be found here.

About Refuge

Refuge supports thousands of women and children on any given day, and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. More than one in four women in England and Wales experiences domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Please signpost to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for free, confidential specialist support. Or visit to fill in a webform and request a safe time to be contacted or to access live chat (live chat available 3pm-10pm, Monday to Friday). For support with tech abuse visit