Housing options must be provided to perpetrators of domestic abuse so that they can be safely removed from their current home, sector bodies have told the government.
A letter addressed to Kelly Tolhurst, the government’s new minister for rough sleeping and housing, said there are currently a number of barriers faced when trying to find alternative accommodation for perpetrators of domestic abuse.
These include perpetrators often being classed as ‘intentionally homeless’, meaning councils have no duty to help find temporary accommodation for them.
The threat of homelessness also means judges can be reluctant to grant a Domestic Violence Protection Order, according to the letter, organised by The Drive Project and signed by leaders representing the Greater London Authority, the National Housing Federation and Barking and Dagenham Council, among others.
It added: “It is our view that there will be times when those needs are best served by re-housing the perpetrator.
“If we can work together with you to prepare local authorities to be ready for those times, we anticipate better outcomes for victims.”
A Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: “It is absolutely critical that victims of domestic abuse get support, especially with housing. That’s why we’re providing £10m to protect domestic abuse refuge services during the pandemic.
“Our forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill will give people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness as a result of domestic abuse priority for council accommodation, to ensure victims do not remain with their abuser for fear of not having a roof over their head.”