This Bill would ensure that someone who has a “lifetime tenancy” (a guarantee of housing provided by a local authority or housing association) would keep that guarantee if they were forced to leave their home because of domestic abuse, and would be given a lifetime tenancy in their new home. -
The Bill delivers on a commitment given by the Government in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 which was reiterated in the Conservative Party’s 2017 Manifesto.
During scrutiny of the Housing and Planning Bill in the House of Lords, concerns were raised that, as a result of this change to the law, those fleeing domestic violence might lose their life-time tenancy when they were rehoused. The Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill would seek to prevent this by making it a requirement that social housing tenants in England who currently have a life-time tenancy and are fleeing domestic violence be granted a similar life-time tenancy in their new home.
This Bill was introduced by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
This Bill appears to have already received widespread support within Parliament and from domestic abuse charities. However the Bill did arise from another piece of legislation, the Housing and Planning Act 2016, which was in itself very controversial and many argued that it was bad for housing security.
This new Bill came about because an amendment was tabled during the passage of the Housing and Planning Act by Baroness Lister, who has written an interesting article about how, and why, she felt the need to try and change that law.
During the Second Reading debate of this Bill, a wide-ranging discussion took place on issues including the impact of domestic abuse and housing insecurity. Labour has said they will scrutinise this Bill closely.
How to get involved
Contact your MP or the Department for Communities and Local Government.
If I don’t act, will it go through?
As a Government Bill it is likely to go through.