Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, responds to a report by Crisis and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness on domestic abuse and homelessness in England.
“Tackling domestic abuse is an issue which councils take very seriously and they already offer a range of support to protect victims and their families from this horrendous crime.
“The Government’s recent announcement that funding will be provided to place these vital services on a long-term, sustainable footing will help councils in this vital work.
“A multi-agency approach is needed to tackle this crime, with flexibility in the Government’s new package of support to ensure services can be tailored to the needs of different areas.
“However, our ambition must be to reduce the number of victims of domestic abuse, with greater investment in early intervention and prevention schemes that helps stop domestic abuse occurring in the first place.
"Many councils are struggling to cope with rising homelessness and to find suitable accommodation for those in need, which is leading to the increasing use of temporary accommodation.
“If councils are to be truly able to help more domestic abuse victims find suitable housing, councils need to keep 100 per cent of the receipts of any homes they sell to replace them and reinvest in building more of the genuinely affordable homes they desperately need and the ability to adapt welfare reforms.”