Family violence: 300 new homes for survivors

August 1, 2016
family violence mark foley
Housing Minister Martin Foley announces 300 new homes for family violence victims forced to flee. Photo: Chris Hopkins

Family violence VIC: More than 300 households fleeing family violence will soon move into new homes under a deal with the state government and community housing sector.

Sixteen community housing groups will buy and lease the new homes as part of the Andrews government’s response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence as reported by Benjamin Preiss.

The program was initially planned to fund the lease of up to 100 properties and purchase of 130 but that has been extended to 124 and 184, respectively, under the arrangement with the community housing sector.

The first of the homes will be leased through the $50 million “rapid housing assistance program”.

Housing Minister Martin Foley said he expected the first homes to be bought towards the end of the year while some of the properties have already been leased.

“This is crucial support for members of our community who are forced to flee their own homes,” he said.

Family violence housing initiative

Access to housing was a major focus of the Royal Commission in Family Violence, which delivered its report earlier this year. The Andrews government agreed to implement all its recommendations.

The government allocated $152 million for a “housing blitz” in response to the royal commission.

Launch Housing deputy chief executive Heather Holst said there had been a significant rise in the number of women and children seeking support in response to violence and abuse.

“In the last year alone 60 per cent of our clients were women and children fleeing family violence,” she said.

Dr Holst said Launch Housing would receive funding to buy 20 properties and lease another 27.

She said the latest housing arrangement was a good start and a similar approach should be used to help other vulnerable people.

“That’s what I’d like to see with the rough sleeping housing response,” she said.

Family violence housing a ‘community model’

Community Housing Federation of Victoria executive officer Lesley Dredge praised the decision to secure properties through community housing groups rather than the government doing it directly.

She said community housing associations had delivered an increase in the number of properties available to domestic violence survivors partly because they could use some of their own equity.

“This is the community housing model,” she said. “It’s a fantastic result but not surprising.¬†What is surprising is the government doesn’t use the community housing model more to deliver better results.” To read more click here.

Family violence will be discussed at The 2016 STOP Domestic Violence Conference; Providing the Skills for Change will be held on 5 – 7 December at the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane.

With an improved focus and awareness on the effect of Domestic and Family Violence within Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association is providing a national unified platform to discuss the strain of Domestic Violence on Australian resources and facilities. Registrations are now open. To register for the Conference CLICK HERE.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 2016 STOP Domestic Violence Conference are invited to submit an abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE. Abstracts close 22nd August 2016.

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