NHAS help voluntary agency secure accommodation for male domestic abuse victim
Posted on 18/01/21
Our free advice line provides specialist advice on housing, housing debt, and welfare benefit issues to help you support your clients. One of our advisers recently supported a voluntary organisation worker in achieving temporary accommodation for their male client, a victim of domestic abuse with several health problems.
Who got in touch with the NHAS advice line?
A voluntary organisation worker
What was the problem?
The client was a male victim of domestic abuse with several health problems including issues with mobility, mental health and severe IBS. He had been sleeping in his car since leaving the marital home until police referred him to the local authority. He was provided with emergency accommodation under their Severe Weather Emergency Protocol.
The client was then told to leave the emergency accommodation as the local authority were not satisfied that he was homeless – stating that he was the joint owner of a property and that there was no evidence of domestic abuse. As a result, the local authority was not prepared to take a homelessness application. The client was given until the end of the day to provide evidence of domestic abuse or the emergency accommodation would come to an end.
What we did
Our adviser was able to discuss the case with the agency, setting out that someone should be seen to be homeless if it was unsafe to return to their accommodation due to a risk of violence. They also highlighted the responsibilities local authorities have in relation to somebody who presents to them as being homeless, and the processes for challenging the local authority if they failed to offer any assistance.
Full advice was provided on making a homelessness application, including the responsibility of the local authority to undertake enquiries and the fact that the burden of proof to the existence of domestic abuse rests with the local authority. There only needs to be a reason to believe that a person is homeless, or threatened with homelessness, due to the threat of domestic abuse.
Details of local services, that may be able to assist the client, were also provided.
The voluntary agency worker got back in touch with us to say they had contacted the local authority again and they placed the client in temporary accommodation whilst they continued their enquiries.
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