Domestic abuse victim

Domestic abuse victims to be prioritised for council accommodation

Victims who are homeless due to domestic abuse will be prioritised for accommodation from their council, the government has announced.

Under the Domestic Abuse Act, councils will have to find accommodation for people made homeless through domestic abuse, helping to ensure victims do not remain with their abuser for fear of not having a roof over their head.

Previously, victims had to be assessed as being ‘vulnerable’ as a result of domestic abuse to be identified as having a priority need.

Under the new legislation, domestic abuse will be a standalone reason to qualify as needing this support.

This is one of the first of many measures to support victims and their children included in the Domestic Abuse Act to come into effect.

Commenting, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Eddie Hughes said:

Domestic abuse is a heinous crime and it is a tragedy that some victims remain with their abusers for fear of not having a roof over their head.

Today’s change will mean all councils must find accommodation for victims who are homeless as a result of domestic abuse, ensuring they have a safe space to rebuild their lives.

This is part of the government’s wide-ranging programme of support for domestic abuse victims under the landmark Domestic Abuse Act.

Councils have been allocated £1.5m this year to meet the changes, which is on top of £310m that has been delivered through the Homelessness Prevention Grant.

This is so that councils can support those at risk of homelessness, including victims of domestic abuse.

Under the Domestic Abuse Act, councils will also have a new duty to help victims and their children access life-saving support in safe accommodation, backed by £125m funding for 2021/22.

Local authorities were provided with the funding in April so that they can start to fulfil those functions ahead of this duty coming into force later this year.

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