A new report “Nowhere to Go” from Equity Economics estimates that 7,690 women have returned to a current violent partner due to a lack of affordable housing options and that 9,120 women and children face homelessness each year after leaving a violent partner.
Equity Economics estimates that there is an immediate need for 16,810 additional social housing units to ensure that women and children escaping family and domestic violence have somewhere to go and are not forced into returning to a violent partner or homelessness.
According to the report, 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 and the creation of 47,000 new jobs.
A substantial saving of $122.5 million due to women not returning to a violent partner and $257 million due to women not experiencing homelessness after leaving their homes due to family and domestic violence would be made in a year.
According to Kate Colvin from Everybody’s Home:
“More than 9,000 women and children face homelessness each year after leaving a violent partner. As this report highlights, many simply have nowhere to go. Victims and survivors of domestic and family violence are often criticised for returning to their abusive partners but an overwhelming majority have to choose between that and homelessness.
This report demonstrates an urgent need for an additional 16,800 social housing units to ensure women and children have somewhere to go when they are forced to leave their homes due to domestic and family violence. Stable housing is critical to their safety and wellbeing.
Ideally, women would stay in their homes and perpetrators would be removed during instances of family violence. The harsh reality is that women need to leave to find safety.
By building more social housing, the Federal Government can inject billions of dollars into our economy, create tens of thousands of jobs and prove it is serious about helping victims of domestic and family violence.”