The Government has published new regulations and guidance setting out the level of support councils are required to provide to domestic abuse victims who need to escape home.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said the measures included:
- A clear expectation that expert specialist support is provided to victims in safe accommodation that best supports their needs, whether in refuges or other safe housing.
- Guidance that states B&Bs or mixed homeless hostels are not the right place for victims to recover from abuse.
- Support from councils so victims can stay in their own homes, if the perpetrator has left and the home can be made safe.
Councils will have to work with partners such as police and local domestic abuse charities and publish strategies on how they will provide support to victims who need safe accommodation by January 2022.
The Department said councils had already benefited from £125m to start to meet their duties.
Minister for rough sleeping and housing Eddie Hughes MP said: “Domestic abuse is a horrendous crime and specialist support from experienced domestic abuse services is key if victims and their families are going to get the help they need to rebuild their lives.
“This is an important step in making sure victims up and down the country who need a place of safety receive the level of care they deserve.”
A National Expert Steering Group led by the minister with responsibility for homelessness and domestic abuse and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner is to monitor the progress of authorities in implementing these changes.