Key meeting must commit to housing for women’s safety

State and federal ministers with responsibility for women’s safety are being urged to commit to more social and affordable housing for people escaping family violence when they meet in Adelaide today.

The previous Government’s Draft Plan to End Violence Against Women and their Children included housing as a focus area but failed to include concrete action to deliver any new homes.

Since then, the situation has deteriorated. Despite all the talk about the importance of women’s safety and the recognition of housing as critical to women’s safety, there was no funding for housing in the 2022 Budget that followed the release of the draft plan.

More recently, the National Plan Stakeholder Consultation Final Report recommended that housing needs to be at the forefront of the next national plan, and that the national plan needs to include a significant investment into social housing to enable women and children to be safe.

The plan made particular reference to the need for housing in relation to children impacted by domestic and family violence, noting that they face homelessness without access to housing, or continued violence.

At least 7,690 women return to perpetrators after fleeing violence because they have nowhere to go. Another 9,120 become homeless after fleeing violence. A recent report by Anne Summers, The Choice: Violence or Poverty revealed a further 45,000 women never leave because they don’t have the financial resources or don’t have a place to go.

Research by Equity Economics commissioned last year by Everybody’s Home showed if the Commonwealth Government invested in 16,800 additional social housing units, the $7.6 billion cost would be dwarfed by immediate economic benefits of $15.3 billion.

Everybody’s Home spokesperson, Kate Colvin said housing was the cornerstone of meaningful progress.

“Safe, affordable homes are absolutely critical to women’s safety. If state and federal governments are serious about assisting women and children in danger they need to invest in secure housing to address this crisis.

“Women and children are currently making a choice between homelessness and violence. In one of the world’s wealthiest nations this is simply unfathomable.

“The Federal Government must set a target to end homelessness for women and children fleeing violence, and commit to to deliver an adequate supply of new social and affordable housing for women and children fleeing violence to protect them from poverty and homelessness.

“Without further funding for social housing and an improvement in social security payments, the Federal Government cannot begin to address the domestic violence crisis in Australia.”

Media contact Levi Joule 048 111 2074

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