Homelessness: victims of domestic abuse

Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 16th June 2020.

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‘(1) Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 (homelessness: England) is amended as follows.

(2) In section 177 (whether it is reasonable to continue to occupy accommodation)—

(a) in subsection (1), for “domestic violence or other violence” substitute “violence or domestic abuse”;

(b) for subsection (1A) substitute—

“(1A) For this purpose—

(a) “domestic abuse” has the meaning given by section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2020;

(b) “violence” means—

(i) violence from another person; or

(ii) threats of violence from another person which are likely to be carried out.”

(3) Omit section 178 (meaning of associated person).

(4) In section 179 (duty of local housing authority in England to provide advisory services), in subsection (5)—

(a) for the definition of “domestic abuse” substitute—

““domestic abuse” has the meaning given by section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2020;”;

(b) omit the definition of “financial abuse”.

(5) In section 189 (priority need for accommodation)—

(a) in subsection (1), after paragraph (d) insert—

“(e) a person who is homeless as a result of that person being a victim of domestic abuse.”;

(b) after subsection (4) insert—

“(5) In this section “domestic abuse” has the meaning given by section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2020.”

(6) In section 198 (referral of case to another local housing authority)—

(a) in subsection (2), in paragraph (c), for “domestic violence” substitute “domestic abuse”;

(b) in subsection (2ZA), in paragraph (b), for “domestic violence” substitute “domestic abuse”;

(c) in subsection (2A), in paragraph (a), for “domestic violence” substitute “violence that is domestic abuse”;

(d) for subsection (3) substitute—

“(3) For the purposes of subsections (2), (2ZA) and (2A)—

(a) “domestic abuse” has the meaning given by section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2020;

(b) “violence” means—

(i) violence from another person; or

(ii) threats of violence from another person which are likely to be carried out.”

(7) In section 218 (index of defined expressions: Part 7), in the table, omit the entry relating to section 178.

(8) In article 6 of the Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order 2002 (S.I. 2002/2051) (vulnerability: fleeing violence or threats of violence)—

(a) the existing text becomes paragraph (1);

(b) after that paragraph insert—

“(2) For the purposes of this article—

(a) “violence” does not include violence that is domestic abuse;

(b) “domestic abuse” has the meaning given by section 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2020.”

(9) In consequence of the repeal made by subsection (3), omit the following provisions—

(a) in Schedule 8 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004, paragraph 61;

(b) in Schedule 3 to the Adoption and Children Act 2002, paragraphs 89 to 92.”

This New Clause makes two key changes to Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996 in relation to homelessness in England. First, it amends section 189 to give homeless victims of domestic abuse priority need for accommodation. Second, it amends Part 7 to change references to “domestic violence” to references to “domestic abuse” within the meaning of clause 1 of the Bill.

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.