To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will introduce a coordination system, developed in conjunction with specialist Violence Against Women and Girls providers and with local authorities, to allocate hotel spaces alongside specialist support to people deemed in priority need as a result of domestic abuse.
We are looking carefully at all safe and appropriate accommodation options for supporting victims of domestic abuse and their children.
The Government’s priority remains for refuges to stay open, up and running to enable victims of domestic abuse to be able to access the support they need.
My officials have been liaising closely with Refuge and the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, the Office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Women’s Aid and the wider refuge sector as well as other Government Departments, including the Home Office, from the start of the lockdown to monitor how demand is changing.
In England, under homelessness legislation a person who is pregnant, has dependent children, or is vulnerable as a result of having to leave accommodation due to domestic abuse has priority need for accommodation and will be accommodated by the local authority. Local authorities use a range of accommodation options to find appropriate housing for victims, including working with specialist domestic abuse and/or Violence Against Women and Girls providers where appropriate.
The Scottish Government are responsible for setting policy regarding homelessness and domestic abuse in Scotland and will be able to advise further.