Local authorities have a duty under homelessness legislation to provide safe accommodation to a victim of domestic abuse who has had to flee their home. The Homelessness Statutory Code of Guidance provide local authorities with guidance on providing homeless services to people who experience domestic abuse or are at risk of domestic abuse.
Stronger duties to secure accommodation exist for households who have a priority need for accommodation. Priority need may include someone who is vulnerable in some way as a result of ceasing to occupy accommodation because of violence from another person or threats of violence from another person which are likely to be carried out.
Domestic violence and abuse can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender identity or reassignment, race, religion, class, sexual orientation and marital status. Housing authorities should bear in mind that the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 for public authorities apply to policies, practice and procedures relating to homelessness and domestic violence and abuse.
Government has consulted on what more can be done to protect domestic abuse victims through the Domestic Abuse Bill, which closed on 31 May. We are currently analysing the 3,200 plus responses received and will carefully consider what future courses of action are necessary.