(2) what steps the Government have taken to provide sufficient accommodation in Coventry for women who have been subject to domestic abuse or forced marriage; how much funding is being provided for such accommodation in 2009-10; and what steps the Government are taking to re-integrate such women into the community.
Decisions around the provision of accommodation and support services for victims of domestic abuse and forced marriage are a local matter and it is the responsibility of the individual local authority to plan and commission or provide as they see fit.
Government strengthened the homelessness legislation in England by extending the priority need categories (that is, those people who must be secured accommodation if they have become homeless through no fault of their own). The additional categories included people who are vulnerable as a result of fleeing accommodation because of violence or threats of violence likely to be carried out In 2003 the Government announced major investment in refuge provision in England in 2003-06. A total of £34 million capital was allocated and 511 units of accommodation were refurbished or newly built. More recently the Hostels Capital Improvement Programme (2005/07) funded six new and refurbished refuges at a cost of £4 million. If new provision is required then bids can be made to the National Affordable Housing Programme.
CLG provides essential revenue support, via housing related support services, for victims of domestic violence through the Supporting People Programme. £64.5 million in 2007-08 up from £61.6 million in 2006-7. In Coventry £849,229 (2007-08) was spent on housing related support services for women at risk of domestic violence.
This Government take extremely seriously the issue of protection for people at risk of domestic violence and we must understand whether there is appropriate provision out there. That is why we have commissioned new research which will identify the current housing options available to households at risk of domestic violence, and to assess whether this provision meets current need. This will report next year.