Refuges: Finance

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered at on 16 April 2018.

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Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect the proposed reforms to supported housing on the financial sustainability of women’s refuges.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

These reforms will see the same amount of funding as would have been available through Housing Benefit in 2020/21 made available as a grant to directly fund bed spaces instead. Everyone who would be eligible under the current system to have their housing costs met by housing benefit will continue to have their housing costs met through the short-term funding model.

We are listening to the views of the domestic abuse sector and are considering feedback through the current consultation which closed on 23 January.

In the meantime, we are carrying out a comprehensive review of how domestic abuse services, including refuge, are delivered locally. It will give us for the first time a robust picture of domestic abuse service provision for all victims across England. It will enable us to assess the impact of the Priorities for Domestic Abuse Services and identify any gaps in provision, so we have the best possible evidence on which to make decisions about future, sustainable funding for these vital services. The review will conclude in the summer.

The review will be informed by an audit of all local authority commissioned domestic abuse services. We have commissioned Ipsos MORI to lead this work. We are working with a wide range of stakeholders and other Government departments to ensure the audit is robust and supported by their data.

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