17 Mar DOMESTIC ABUSE BILL PASSES AT HOLYROOD
‘VITAL’ AMENDMENT WILL PROTECT HOUSING RIGHTS FOR VICTIMS
The Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill passed in the Scottish Parliament today will offer vital housing protections for survivors of domestic abuse after the Scottish Government accepted an amendment proposed by Homeless Action Scotland.
The Bill introduces new powers to remove abusers from tenancies and the amendment proposed by Homeless Action means that when a perpetrator is evicted for domestic abuse, the social landlord must now offer the tenancy to the victim. Prior to this amendment, there was the potential for a landlord to evict a tenant on grounds of domestic abuse and not subsequently offer the tenancy to the victim. This had the potential for victims to endure housing vulnerability at a crucial time.
There will be guidance issued in due course on how this will operate and Homeless Action Scotland have pledged to continue to press this important issue.
Homeless Action Scotland’s Communications and Engagement Manager Garry Burns said:
“We are pleased that this vital amendment has been accepted by the Parliament as we believe it will protect victims’ housing rights properly.
Not every amendment we proposed was accepted but this crucial one got the support of the Justice Minister after being initially proposed by Rhoda Grant who was a member of the Justice Committee. Rhoda and her team were instrumental in getting our views heard at the committee for which we are grateful.
We are grateful to the Legal Service Agency and in particular Alastair Houston for the support on the terms of the amendment that was passed.
We would also extend our gratitude to Justice Minister Humza Yousaf, who accepted one of our amendments which will undoubtedly extend the protections in this bill, to more victims of domestic abuse.
This legislation is important, and in many ways overdue, but we now need to build on it and ensure that full housing rights for every citizen are upheld and monitored for compliance.
We are aware that the Scottish Government has committed to ensuring that these protections are extended to all tenures and we will support this work if it comes about and campaign for it should it fail to materialise.”