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The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and the Grant of Secure Tenancies and Domestic Abuse – what does this mean in practice?

  • Type HQN Event (Virtual)
  • Venue Virtual workshop
  • Start 28 Jan 2022 10:00
  • End 28 Jan 2022 12:00


The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and the Grant of Secure Tenancies and Domestic Abuse – what does this mean in practice?

Virtual workshop

Consider the issues from all perspectives. Get advice and guidance from our panel of experts.

In 2018/19, over 5,000 (1.92%) of all new social housing lettings were to existing social tenants who gave ‘domestic abuse’ as the main reason they left their previous social home.

The Domestic Abuse Act (2021) received royal assent in April 2021. The Act set out a number of points in relation to housing, homelessness and providing safe accommodation.  

The Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Act 2018 had previously set out that lifetime tenants who experience domestic abuse would retain lifetime security, when granted a new tenancy by a local authority for reasons connected with the domestic abuse. This requirement was included in the Domestic Abuse Act (2021).

Section 79 of the Domestic Abuse Act (2021) inserted a new section 81ZA into the Housing Act 1985. This means that local authorities granting a secure tenancy to any victims of domestic abuse must provide a lifetime rather than a flexible tenancy.

This requirement came into force on 1 November 2021 with little fanfare. This session brings together a panel of experts and practitioners on housing and domestic abuse to take a practical look and spell out exactly what this means for survivors, local authorities and housing providers.

Chaired by Kelly Henderson who co-founded the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) and is now an HQN Associate, our speaker line up will cover the key issues from all perspectives:

  • The legal points – solicitor/barrister
  • The practitioner – homelessness and housing operations/head of housing
  • The lived experience/survivor perspective/domestic abuse specialists.

This is a great opportunity to explore the implications of the legislation, get answers from the specialists and share approaches with other practitioners.

Essential for everyone with responsibility for domestic abuse – policy and strategy as well as operations.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Kelly Henderson, HQN Associate 
  • Donna McCarthy, Partner / Head of Housing Management & Property Litigation, Devonshires Solicitors
  • Sally Harrington, Director, The Next Chapter (A Domestic Abuse Chairty)
  • Meena Kumari, Founder, Director H.O.P.E Training.

About our speakers:

Kelly Henderson's interest in domestic abuse started over 25 years ago as part of her university placement at a women’s refuge, her final year dissertation analysed gender differences in charging and sentencing of domestic abuse homicides. Before co-founding DAHA, Kelly was the Domestic and Sexual Violence Lead for a local authority, co-ordinating the city’s Multi Agency Domestic Abuse Partnership. Kelly's housing experience includes roles in housing management, asylum, policy and research. She recently was seconded to Northumbria Police to project manage a Home Office funded multi force project (Domestic Abuse A Whole Systems Approach – DAWSA) to improve the Police response to domestic abuse and oversee research into the provision of a national response to perpetrators of domestic abuse. She has a Masters in Housing Policy / Management. Her PhD (Durham University) researched the role of housing in a co-ordinated community response to domestic abuse and included the largest UK questionnaire to housing providers on domestic abuse. She was named 24 Housing's ‘Housing Professional of the Year’ 2018 for her work and research on housing and domestic abuse. Kelly is a board member of Women in Social Housing North East, a trustee of the Alice Ruggles Trust, an Honorary Research Fellow at Durham University and a Steering Group member of the Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CriVA).  

Donna McCarthy heads up a team at Devonshires Solicitors advising on all aspects of housing management law and practice, acting for Local Authorities, Registered Providers and private landlords in complex litigation, including possession proceedings; actions to restrain Anti-Social Behaviour; injunctions and disrepair actions. Donna started her legal career in the in house legal team at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, combining part time studies with a mixed litigation practice including housing law. She qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 1994. Between 1994 and 1999 she worked as a specialist housing litigator, predominantly advising and representing tenants with particular specialism in representing those with mental capacity issues, regularly taking instructions from the Official Solicitor. Donna’s expertise in complex dispute resolution, both in and out of court, sits alongside her extensive experience in advising on non-contentious policy and procedure in addition to regulatory matters. She has a particular specialism in advising on mental health, safeguarding and capacity issues both in respect of litigated matters as well as from a regulatory perspective where she advises on health and social care aspects including enforcement action and dealing with adverse incidents. She also advises on issues arising from care contracts and service level agreements, including dispute resolution. Donna regularly contributes and writes articles, including contributing to Devonshires Housing Management Brief, as well as articles on upcoming legislative changes and sector updates, is Devonshires most prolific trainer, regularly presenting seminars, workshops and webinars and is responsible for co-ordinating the Housing Management training programme. In her spare time, Donna volunteers at Inspiring the Future, presenting in schools and college on legal career options.


"I was very impressed with the amount of content that was covered , and found the speakers very authentic , and compassionate about the subject."

"It was very good and very easy to understand."

"Very knowledgable speakers, very engaging."

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2 delegates: £175.00 *
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3+: £125.00 *

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