Refuge responds to the Government’s latest statement on housing benefit caps

15th September 2016

Today, the Government has confirmed that refuges will be exempt from the Local Housing Allowance cap on housing benefit for supported accommodation.

Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says:

Sandra-Horley-NEW-HEADSHOT-20141-150x150“Refuge is delighted to learn that the Government will exempt refuges from new Local Housing Allowance rates and the 1% reduction in rent charges. Both of these developments will help to safeguard the future of specialist refuges. We welcome the Prime Minister’s continued leadership on violence against women and girls and are delighted that her new Government is prioritising the needs of women and children fleeing domestic violence.

“Refuge has long campaigned for refuge residents to be exempt from the planned cuts to housing benefit. Any reduction in funding would have resulted in the closure of refuges, leaving women with a stark choice: to flee to the streets with their children or remain with their violent abuser.

“Specialist women’s refuges are an essential safety net for women, yet in some parts of the country there is no refuge provision for women at risk of abuse. It is a postcode lottery, in which finding a refuge space can be like finding gold dust. Whilst today’s announcement is a positive step forward, there is still a long way to go before all women fleeing domestic violence get the support and protection they need and deserve. Refuge looks forward to working with the Government to find a long-term and sustainable funding solution for refuges across the country.”

If you would like further comment, please contact the press office on press@refuge.org.uk or phone 0207 395 7731. Out of hours and weekend number: 07970 894240