Housing security recognised in new plan to end violence against women and children

Everybody’s Home has commended a joint state and commonwealth strategy that recognises the urgent and long overdue need to provide safe and stable homes for more women and children fleeing domestic violence.

The 10-year ‘National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children’ highlights the intrinsic link between building more social and affordable housing and protecting families from harm, also recommending additional crisis and transitional housing.

Everybody’s Home has consistently advocated the economic and social benefits of creating additional housing to end gender-based violence. The‘Nowhere To Go’ report by Equity Economics and commissioned by Everybody’s Home found just over three per cent of women and children seeking specialist homeless services were receiving long-term housing.

The modelling shows more than 7,600 women a year are returning to perpetrators because they have nowhere affordable to live, and more than 9,100 are becoming homeless once they flee their homes.

A $7.6 billion investment in 16,800 additional social housing homes would generate $15.3 billion in immediate economic benefits.

It would avoid $122.5 million per year in costs due to women returning to a violent partner, and $257 million a year in costs due to women experiencing homelessness after leaving their homes due to family and domestic violence. 

Everybody’s Home spokesperson, Kate Colvin, said providing more housing was at the core of creating a safer society.

“Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children so providing more long-term roofs over heads is an obvious solution. The bald truth right now is that women and children are being forced to choose between homelessness and returning to a violent home. Nobody should be forced to make this choice.

“A significant investment in housing not only protects women and children, but also generates economic savings as women stop returning to perpetrators or become homeless once leaving them.

“This national plan is a welcome pledge to stem what has become a shameful national crisis.

“What we need to see now is real, substantial dollars and quick action to make this blueprint a reality. This should be one of the foremost considerations as the Commonwealth and states craft the next national housing and homelessness plan.” 

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