Local authorities should treat victims of domestic abuse living in safe accommodation as a priority for social housing, new guidance states.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has published new guidance to ensure victims of domestic abuse can easily access safe, long-term accommodation.
The guidance comes during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
It makes clear that councils should prioritise victims of abuse living in refuges and other safe forms of accommodation when it comes to social housing.
It also says those victims who have fled to refuges in other parts of the country should not be disadvantaged in accessing social housing.
The guidance, which is subject to a 10-week consultation, adds that councils should use their existing powers to help victims of domestic abuse to remain safely in their own home without their abuser, if they wish to.
‘Domestic abuse is a devastating crime with complex challenges that extend far beyond the boundaries of local authorities,’ said communities minister Lord Bourne.
‘That’s why we’re committed to providing local authorities with the robust guidance they need to improve victims’ access to long-term and secure housing they need to rebuild their lives.’