Victoria’s peak body for specialist family violence services, Safe and Equal, and Victoria’s state-wide family violence service, Safe Steps, welcome the Victorian Government’s announcement today of a new Social and Affordable Housing Contribution Fund. This fund, expected to raise over $800 million and provide 1,700 new social and affordable homes annually over the next ten years enables sustained, ongoing investment to increase Victoria’s social housing supply.
“Many victim-survivors of family violence exit our emergency accommodation into homelessness services due to lack of affordable housing,” said Rita Butera, CEO of Safe Steps. “Lack of access to housing is also a key reason why many victim-survivors are not able to leave situations of violence or return to violence,” she said.
Tania Farha, CEO of Safe and Equal said, “We look forward to working with government on ensuring priority is given to victim-survivors of family violence and that social housing providers that work with these groups are included as part of the funding. It is absolutely vital that a specific allocation is provided for the too many victim-survivors of family violence so they can be safe from violence and rebuild their lives.”
Both said they hoped some of this fund would also be allocated to increase the number of refuges.
“Social housing is so critical for the people we work with, and this fund will go a long way in delivering these. However, demand for emergency accommodation and refuge continues to outpace supply,” said Ms Butera.
Ms. Farha added, “It is really important that we look at the crisis end as well as the pathways to longer-term housing.”