Long term homes for women escaping domestic violence

August 11, 2016

Women and children escaping family violence will be offered one of 11 homes in Melton for long-term accommodation as part of the state government’s $50 million Rapid Housing Assistance program.

The properties will be bought, or leased, and managed by community housing organisations.

The state government announced plans to lease 100 properties and buy another 130 around the state after the Royal Commission into Family Violence handed down its findings in March.

But it has already boosted these numbers, with plans to lease 124 homes and purchase 180.1022777_650x433

A Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman said the houses were expected to be available by the end of this financial year.

She said the Melton municipality had been selected based on data revealing where the need for housing women and children fleeing domestic violence was identified.

The spokeswoman said Housing Choices Australia, Launch Housing, Women’s Housing Limited and VincentCare Community Housing had been selected to operate the homes in Melton.

“While the homes may be considered a refuge from family violence, they are not a women’s refuge in the true sense of the word,” the spokeswoman said. “Women’s refuges provide short-term crisis accommodation for women and children. This initiative is intended to provide longer-term accommodation options to enable people to exit refuges. There is no specific time limit on the tenancy period.”

These will be long-term accommodation for women and their children escaping abusive partners or relatives.

Ms Line said women would need to register for the program through the Health and Human Services department.

The cost for houses under the program will depend on each woman’s income, Ms Line said, adding costs would not be more than 30 per cent of their gross income. “There won’t be any problems filling the houses,” she said.

Housing Minister Martin Foley said that while some of the properties had been leased, the first homes were expected to be purchased by the end of the year.

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