Social Rented Housing: Domestic Abuse

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with the Minister for Women and Equalities on the barriers survivors of domestic abuse face when trying to access local authority housing.

Photo of Luke Hall Luke Hall Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Officials from my Department hold regular discussions with counterparts in the Government Equalities Office on a range of issues, including on tackling domestic abuse.

In November 2018 we issued new statutory guidance for local authorities to improve access to social housing by victims of domestic abuse who are in a refuge or other form of safe temporary accommodation: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/753667/Improving_access_to_social_housing_for_victims_of_domestic_abuse.pdf

The guidance makes clear that local authorities are expected not to apply residency tests for those victims who have fled to another district, sets out how they can give appropriate priority to victims, and encourages them to use their existing powers to support victims to remain safely in their homes if they choose to do so.

The Domestic Abuse Bill includes provisions to ensure that, where local authorities grant a new tenancy to a victim of domestic abuse who has or had a lifetime tenancy, the new tenancy must be a further lifetime tenancy.

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