Britain’s first women’s-only tower block has been given the green light by planners in west London.
The scheme for 102 flats will be available to single women renters at low social rents for those who face inequality, abuse and disadvantages in the housing market.
Men will only be able to live in the block if they become a tenant’s partner or if they are the adult child of a female tenant and inherit the tenancy. Transgender women, including people intending to undergo gender reassignment, will be allowed, but men who cross-dress, transgender men, and anyone with a known history of male violence against women or children will not.
Ealing block Design details at the 15-storey block in Ealing could include slightly lower kitchen work surfaces and careful attention to ventilation to ensure comfort for menopausal women, according to landlord Women’s Pioneer Housing (WPH), which also plans to build another low-rise women’s-only complex in Shepherd’s Bush. The scheme is being developed in partnership with L&Q, one of London’s largest housing associations.
Domestic violence WPH chief executive Tracey Downie told The Guardian that the block would be home to women who “have been unable to afford good affordable housing themselves because of their level of income or vulnerability”. This may be because they have been sexually harassed by a private landlord, are full-time mothers relying on income from a partner from whom they are now separated or have been the victim of domestic violence.
However, the plan sparked a flurry of comments on social media from those who feared vulnerable women would be at risk from biological men who identify as women, while others accused it of discriminating against men.
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