Rented Housing: Domestic Violence

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 27th April 2016.

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Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assistance his Department provides for domestic violence victims unable to provide documentation and information on previous tenancies to help them secure new tenancies.

Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government)

Victims of domestic abuse who are staying in a refuge or hostel are exempt from the Right to Rent scheme checks. Those not in a hostel or refuge can also use a number of less standard documents to prove their right to rent.

Domestic abuse is a devastating crime and we are determined to ensure that no one is turned away from the support they need. In the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy published on 8 March, we set out our ambition to improve services for women suffering from domestic abuse, committing to a new Statement of Expectations to set out for the first time what we expect from local areas. To support this, we are launching a new two year fund for refuges and other forms of accommodation based support and to help local areas take the steps they need to meet the National Statement.

In last year’s Spending Review we secured new, dedicated funding of £40 million to support victims of domestic abuse. This builds on the £3.5 million funding in 2015/16 and is on top of the £10 million funding to strengthen the provision of safe accommodation in the last spending review period. Since 2003, the Government has provided funding to UKRefugesOnline to help victims of domestic abuse access the help and support they need.

There are a number of accommodation options for victims of domestic abuse. The Homelessness Code of Guidance for local authorities outlines the type of housing related and other support services that might be required. When making decisions, local authorities should sensitively consider which are the most appropriate options for each person on a case by case basis taking account of their individual needs.

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