Georgia's Law would give greater rights to people who have experienced serious violence

Luke is sponsoring the introduction of Georgia’s Law (Social Housing (Emergency Protection of Tenancy Rights) Bill) – in the House of Commons on Tuesday 1st February.

No-one should face homelessness because they or a member of their household is threatened with serious violence, yet that is exactly what happens to far too many families who are forced to make an emergency move because a member of their household is at risk.

The Bill has been introduced by Helen Hayes MP and would protect the secure tenancy of a social housing tenant who is forced to move into temporary accommodation due to a threat of violence to them or a member of their household, and ensure social landlords work together to identify a safe permanent home as soon as possible.

The Bill is supported by Shelter, the National Housing Federation, and a cross party group of MPs.

Currently, social housing providers have no legal duty to give priority to protect the tenancy rights of tenants who are forced to make an emergency move due to a threat of violence. This, alongside the severe shortage of social homes, can leave families – already traumatised by the circumstances of their move – trapped in overcrowded and unsuitable temporary accommodation, waiting for months or even years to be re-housed.

For a family with children, becoming homeless in this way adds further instability, affecting every child in the family and making it harder to recover from the trauma.

Georgia’s Law would make two important changes to current housing law:

  • That secure social housing tenants (whether Council or housing associations) should have their tenancy rights protected in a situation in which they have to move because they, or a member of their household face a threat to safety with a right to be moved as quickly as possible to an alternative home on the same tenancy terms.
  • That a new statutory duty to cooperate is placed on social landlords in circumstances where a tenant needs to be rehoused outside of the area within which their current landlord holds property.

Luke said:

“This is a hugely important bill. No one should be forced into homelessness because they or their children are threatened. Housing providers must work together to give families at risk from violence a safe and stable home.”

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