Affordable housing in focus this International Women’s Day

With thousands of women a year returning to violent partners and becoming homeless in Australia, the Federal Government must prioritise housing if it is serious about protecting women. 

This International Women’s Day, national housing campaign Everybody’s Home is urging the government to focus on providing more safe, affordable housing. 

A recent Anglicare Sydney report highlights how older women are one of the fastest growing cohorts of people at risk of and experiencing homelessness in Australia, a trend likely to continue as home ownership levels fall, public housing shrinks, rents rise and the population ages.

Meanwhile, an Everybody’s Home commissioned report ‘Nowhere To Go’estimates that each year, domestic violence and the lack of long-term social housing is leading to 7,690 women returning to violent partners, and 9,120 women becoming homeless.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson Maiy Azize believes those figures are much higher, nearing two years on from the report’s release. 

“Rents and housing stress have never been higher. The demand for social and affordable housing has never been stronger,” Ms Azize said.

“In Australia, thousands of women remain in dangerous situations or become homeless simply because they have nowhere else to go. 

“Family and domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women, while older single women are one of the fastest growing cohorts of people experiencing housing stress and homelessness. Factors include being single, unemployed, renting, experiencing violence, having lower incomes, superannuation and savings, as well as a lack of support networks. 

“To fix this, the Federal Government needs to scale up its investments in social housing. Every woman deserves to be safe and a foundation of this is having access to a decent, affordable home.”

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