Improving access to safe and stable housing options

Safe and appropriate accommodation and housing are critical to the safety and long-term recovery of victim survivors.

While many victim survivors want support to stay in their own homes and communities, those who cannot stay at home need immediate short-term refuge followed by timely access to a stable home in a suitable location. This longer-term housing helps provide them with security and stability in their employment and education. However, family violence continues to be a leading cause of homelessness, especially for women and children.

Victoria is delivering on the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build, to increase social and affordable housing. On completion, it will deliver more than 4,200 new social housing dwellings across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. This includes the delivery of up to 1,000 dwellings for victim survivors of family violence.

Key activity in 2022

  • We opened four new core and cluster refuges. These provide victim survivors with immediate access to safe independent living (known as clusters), while also offering 24/7 comprehensive support services on site (known as the core). The new refuges cater to people who have historically experienced barriers to access. This includes victim survivors with adolescent sons, victim survivors from diverse cultural and faith backgrounds, larger families, LGBTIQ+ victim survivors and those with substance dependency.
  • Aboriginal-specific core and cluster refuges provide a space for Aboriginal women and children experiencing family violence to receive culturally appropriate support. One Aboriginal-specific refuge is operational, with the final two in the design phase.
  • In 2021–22, we funded inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence (inTouch) to work with all refuges across Victoria to enhance service responses for victim survivors on temporary visas in refuge. This included training and capacity building for refuge staff in culturally responsive practice and working with temporary visa holders.
  • The Personal Safety Initiative continued to provide safety and security planning for victim survivors including the installation of home security and/or property modifications to enable victim survivors to remain safely in their own homes, return home, or safely relocate to a new home. In 2021–22, the initiative supported 1,403 safety and security home audits, which made security and technology recommendations for victim survivors.