Domestic Abuse: Immigrants

Home Office written question – answered on 20th July 2020.

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Photo of Jess Phillips Jess Phillips Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to ensure that the Everyone In initiative provides temporary accommodation to (a) women survivors of domestic abuse and (b) women survivors with no recourse to public funds.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

On 24 June the Housing Secretary announced that the Government is providing local authorities with a further £105 million to enable them to best support the c15,000 people placed into emergency accommodation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government has been clear that the offer for each person supported under this approach would need to be made on an individual basis, considering that person’s specific circumstances, support needs and the law. This could include women who have experienced rough sleeping due to domestic abuse.

The rules as to eligibility relating to immigration status, including for those with no recourse to public funds, have not changed. Local authorities must use their judgement in assessing what support they may lawfully give to each person on an individual basis, considering that person’s specific circumstances and support needs.  Local authorities already regularly make such judgements on accommodating individuals who might otherwise be ineligible, during extreme weather for example, where there is a risk to life.

The Government recognises that some migrant victims of domestic abuse are not eligible for existing sources of support, such as the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (DDVC). That is why we have committed £1.5 million to the Support for Migrant Victims scheme to support migrant victims of domestic abuse who do not qualify for the DDVC and gather the evidence that is needed to make sustainable decisions for this group over the long-term. This is in addition to over £1.5 million provided so far in Tampon Tax funding, since 2017 and up to 31 March 2021, to fund organisations supporting migrant victims of domestic abuse who do not qualify for the DDVC. We continue to work with our partners across Government to develop the particulars of the scheme, which is due to be launched in the autumn.

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