Women and children fleeing family violence will have access to new affordable housing stock in Melbourne as a result of the release of Victorian Government’s Housing Blitz funds.
Launch Housing has secured funding from the Victorian Government’s housing blitz tender to purchase 20 new dwellings and lease 27 rental properties to rapidly rehousing women and children fleeing family violence.
Dr Heather Holst, Launch Housing’s Deputy CEO and Director of Services said the funds would ensure the safety and essential housing needs of some of the most vulnerable women and children in our communities.
“We have seen a significant rise in the number of women and dependent children approaching our services for housing and support in an attempt to escape a violent and abusive home. In the last year alone 60% of our clients were women and children fleeing family violence.”
Dr Holst said the major barrier to women and children leaving family violence was the lack of secure, affordable housing in Melbourne. “Many of the women who come to our service looking for a way out of an abusive relationship have a really hard time accessing public or community housing and private rental during a time of great emotional upheaval.”
She said the longer a woman and her children remained in housing crisis the trauma and suffering they endured was prolonged.
“We know that family violence has a devastating impact on the lives of the women and children who experience it. If you add to that the fear and uncertainty of not having somewhere safe to go and a sense that you are going to be able to get your life back together quickly the trauma increases.”
Dr Holst said the Andrew’s Government was on track to deliver strong policy and funding outcomes.
“This is the sort of leadership that can have a significant and enduring impact on one of the biggest social and community concerns we are dealing with in Victoria and nationally. Housing is one of a broad range of issues covered by the Royal Commission but it really is one of the first things we need to sort out for women and children at risk.”