21 Oct 2016

Housing and Planning

Consultation launched into housing priority for domestic abuse victims

The Mayor has launched a consultation into the priority given to victims of domestic abuse on the housing register.

Following a motion tabled at Full Council back in March, the council’s housing team have been engaging with organisations providing support to survivors of domestic abuse, and other members of the sector, to gain their input.

Now a full public consultation has been launched, which will lead to proposals being taken back to the council’s cabinet.

There is a four band system to allocate housing, with band one being the highest priority households.

Survivors of domestic abuse are currently in band two, along with homeless households where we have accepted a statutory duty to house, young adults leaving local authority care, households who are severely overcrowded, victims of hate crime and households experiencing severe harassment.

The council is now proposing that in certain cases, where the risks cannot be mitigated and the severity of the risk posed by an abuser is confirmed by a relevant partner agency, victims will be placed in band one. These decisions will be made following a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC).

It is estimated that this will mean that between 25-50 households each year, which currently go into band two, will go into band one instead.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “In my election manifesto one of the key priorities was to support victims of domestic abuse, including looking at prioritising them for housing.

“We want to significantly reduce the length of time it takes to rehouse high risk victims of domestic abuse and by doing this increase the availability of refuge and safe house places so more households can benefit from this safe and supportive environment.”

The consultation will be targeted at people who have been through, or are going through, the process and domestic abuse practitioners, but will be open to anyone to complete.

The consultation will close on January 3, 2017. To take part, go to https://bristol.citizenspace.com/neighbourhoods/prioritising-victims-of-domestic-abuse-home-choice/