Victims of domestic abuse and their children who risk being homeless must be prioritised for accommodation by councils under new measures in the Domestic Abuse Act which came into forced on 5th July, 2021.

The new duty on councils is designed to protect victims of domestic violence who may be forced to stay with their abusers if they are unable to find a home of their own.

Previously, victims had to prove they were ‘vulnerable’ as a result of domestic abuse before being prioritised for housing. Under the new law, domestic abuse is now a standalone reason to qualify as a person needing housing support.

In the press release announcing the measure, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Eddie Hughes MP 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.

[The] 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.”

Councils are now under a legal duty to ensure that accommodation is provided to victims of domestic abuse.

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