A report from Monash University to inform the next National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032 was released on 14 July. The report places housing at the forefront of the next National Plan, requiring significant investment in social housing and affordable housing that is tailored to the meet the needs of the family or individuals impacted by family, domestic and sexual violence.
Housing is viewed by stakeholders as the foundation to healing and recovery from domestic and family violence.
The key findings on desired outcomes for housing are:
- Housing must be at the forefront of the next National Plan.
- The Commonwealth Government should undertake a national review to determine the level of demand, supply and cohorts’ needs for a fully funded safe housing system.
- The next National Plan should commit to delivering a significant investment into social housing for individuals impacted by family, domestic and sexual violence. This must include investment in long-term housing (covering at least a two-to-three-year period).
- There is a need to deliver specialised and inclusive housing options, including for First Nations populations, LGBTQIA+ communities, and for individuals from migrant backgrounds
- The Safe at Home program should be expanded, and evaluations embedded to determine effectiveness to enhance women’s safety and economic recovery from COVID-19.
- Housing options for perpetrators removed from the home should be expanded to increase feasibility and safety of women and children remaining in the home.
Domestic and family violence is a key driver of women’s homelessness. Many stakeholders voiced concern that there was no section on housing in the previous National Plan and the desire for housing to be a key area of focus in the next National Plan.