SFHA welcomes passing of legislation to protect victims of domestic abuse
The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s passing of the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill.
SFHA said it supports the measure in the bill to allow social landlords to end or transfer the tenancy of a perpetrator of domestic abuse to the victim.
SFHA senior policy manager Stacey Dingwall said: “We welcome the bill’s passing and support the additional power being made available to social landlords to enable the removal of a domestic abuse perpetrator’s interest in a Scottish secure tenancy in order to protect the victim.
“Domestic abuse is clearly a complicated issue, and the introduction of this power – and the Scottish Government guidance which will be produced – will provide social landlords with more confidence regarding how, and when, to appropriately intervene. The power will also, crucially, support a message of zero tolerance to perpetrators, in that they risk losing their home if domestic abuse happens. It also removes the onus from the victim to take action as their landlord has the power to remove the perpetrator’s interest or to transfer the tenancy.
“The requirement to provide information and assistance to the evicted tenant, as opposed to a duty to rehouse them, is welcomed. While we support the intention that no one should be evicted into homelessness, the priority must be to offer support to the victim to safely sustain their tenancy.
“Social landlords must be able to work with other agencies in order to protect the safety of the tenant remaining in the home, and the government’s guidance must offer support for social landlords to enable partnership working, including with
SFHA said it is critically important that social landlords are able to contribute to the shaping of the guidance. The guidance will be crucial in order to support social landlords to develop the policies and protocols recommended in the report by Scottish Women’s Aid and CIH Scotland on improving outcomes for women and children experiencing domestic abuse.
Stacey Dingwall added: “SFHA will work with the Scottish Government to help shape the guidance for social landlords. This will help our members to develop appropriate policies to support tenants who are victims of domestic abuse.”