DOMESTIC abuse survivors in Portsmouth will be boosted by a £500,000 government investment.
Victims in the city will receive the cash injection as part of a £3m project to rebuild lives in the south east, announced by housing minister Heather Wheeler MP on Friday.
It comes after Portsmouth controversially axed £180,000 from its budget for domestic abuse a couple of years ago.
The new funding will provide new beds in refuges and other safe accommodation, access to education, and tailored employment and life skills guidance.
Portsmouth City Council has now confirmed its share of the £3m handed out will be £477,619 split between its partners – with the authority welcoming the new investment in the fight against domestic abuse.
Councillor Dave Ashmore, cabinet member for environment and community safety, said. ‘By working in partnership with community safety projects across Portsmouth and Hampshire boroughs, our funding allocation has been increased to £477,619.
‘Working with the Southern Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS) will increase our flexibility to support those most at risk, particularly when these victims need to move areas.
‘This much-needed funding will allow us to continue to help women, children and young people living in refuge accommodation across the region. It will also allow us to reach harder to engage groups by identifying and removing barriers to domestic violence and abuse, making it easier for all to access crucial support services.’
Claire Lambon, CEO, of SDAS, said: ‘This funding ensures that through partnership working, innovative new services can be delivered to improve the support that women, children, young people and men affected by domestic abuse receive.’
The government has also announced the introduction of new statutory guidance on social housing allocations for local authorities in England which will help victims living in refuge and other temporary accommodation.
Ms Lambon added: ‘It indicates that local authorities should ensure that victims of abuse can more easily access settled accommodation when they are ready to do so in order to free up valuable refuge spaces for others who need this service.
‘Domestic abuse survivors who are provided with temporary protection in a refuge should be given appropriate priority under a local authority’s allocation scheme to enable them to move into more suitable settled accommodation and are not disadvantaged by any residency or local connection requirements.’
Ms Wheeler MP added: ‘It is our duty to ensure survivors can seek help by providing the support they need to restart their lives.
‘Through providing specialist accommodation and access to employment, this fund will make sure councils and charities across the south east can provide a strong safety net for anyone.’