Mothers and children given the chance to thrive in safe supported housing
May 13 2022
Launch Housing in partnership with Uniting, donors and the Victorian Government is preparing to open the doors of Viv’s Place, an Australian first apartment building for at-risk women and children.
Based in Dandenong, Viv’s Place will provide permanent housing with wrap around support services in a new building to provide a fresh start for more than 60 women and 140 children escaping family violence and homelessness.
The Victorian Housing Minister, Richard Wynne, the Victorian Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence, Gabrielle Williams and the Federal Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Jason Clare visited the apartments today.
The project is based on a highly successful model in Broadway, New York which has created supportive communities in such apartment blocks for more than 30 years and supported thousands of people out of homelessness by giving them a solid base and other help.
Access to housing and supports will allow women to find stability and foster a healthy family environment, creating new futures for children, who will be supported to stay in school and to reach their full potential.
The building includes 60 dual key apartments along with communal kitchen and living spaces, children’s play spaces, offices, community gardens and family and child specific services on site.
This Australian first project has been supported by the Victorian Government and generous philanthropic, community and individual donors and is recognised as an innovative and holistic approach to addressing two of the biggest issues facing Australian society.
“With staggering rates of family violence now the leading cause of homelessness, families supportive housing needs to be a key component of all Government responses to supporting Australian families escaping unsafe households.” – Launch Housing CEO, Bevan Warner.
The total cost of the Launch Housing project is $30 million, of which the Victorian Government contributed 40 per cent. Initially anchored by significant donations from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Shine On Foundation, the project subsequently received generous support from the Gandel Foundation, the Ian Potter Foundation and many passionate and generous individuals and families, including the Friday family of Melbourne – to make this dream a reality.
Bevan Warner, CEO of Launch Housing, hopes projects such as Viv’s Place can be a model for increased funding from the Federal Government, “The family violence, housing and homelessness responses from the Commonwealth Government need to have a greater focus on supportive housing as these are proven to provide lasting solutions for families who need stability, security and support to rebuild their lives.”
“A National Housing Strategy is desperately needed to guide higher levels of investment in projects like Viv’s Place that look to make a real difference in the lives of women and children,” Mr Warner said.