Survivors of domestic abuse will be guaranteed a safe home

Hannah Gousy, Head of Policy and Campaigns

We’ve had some fantastic news this weekend. The Government has announced that it will amend the Domestic Abuse Bill so that anyone made homeless a result of domestic abuse will have a legal right to housing. This is a landmark moment for survivors of domestic abuse. This change will prevent thousands from becoming homeless and undoubtedly save lives.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, announced on Saturday that survivors of domestic abuse will be given priority need status, meaning they will be guaranteed a safe and settled home from their local council should they become homeless. Speaking at the daily press conference, he said: 

“I can confirm that through the Domestic Abuse Bill the government will also be ensuring that the victims of domestic violence get the priority need status that they need to access local housing services much more easily.
“This is a fully funded commitment, which will mean that no victim of domestic violence has to make the unbearable choice between staying somewhere that they know is unsafe or becoming homeless.”

For years, we’ve seen first hand the devastating impact that having to prove vulnerability has on survivors. It is not only traumatic, but often incredibly dangerous. Once the Domestic Abuse Bill passes, the vulnerability test will no longer be applied to those made homelessness as a result of domestic abuse in England, meaning they will be considered a priority for housing just as families with dependent children are.

This announcement followed an exciting week in Parliament where we saw politicians from all parties backing the A Safe Home campaign.The All-Party Parliamentary Group’s leadership on this campaign, and support of MPs from all parties demonstrated the strength of working together to end homelessness. And of course this would not have been possible without the incredible support of campaigners across the country and those working in the women’s and homelessness sector who came together to back this campaign.

But above all the survivors of domestic abuse who courageously shared their experience and made the most powerful case for change.

Thank you.

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