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Establish a Family Violence Housing Assistance Implementation Task Force

Recommendation:
019
Status:
Implemented

Who is leading the change

  • Department of Health and Human Services

The Victorian Government establish a Family Violence Housing Assistance Implementation Task Force consisting of senior representatives from the public and commercial housing sectors and family violence specialists. The task force, which should report through the Minister for Housing to the Cabinet Family Violence Sub-committee, should:

  • oversee a process designed to remove blockages in access to family violence crisis accommodation by rapidly rehousing family violence victims living in crisis and transitional accommodation
  • design, oversee and monitor the first 18-month phase of the proposed expanded Family Violence Flexible Support Packages (including rental subsidies)
  • quantify the number of additional social housing units required for family violence victims who are unable to gain access to and sustain private rental accommodation
  • subject to evaluation of the proposed expanded Family Violence Flexible Support Packages, plan for the statewide roll-out of the packages (including rental subsidies) and the social housing required
  • This recommendation is part of a suite of measures to ensure the safety of women and children so they can remain in their homes or, where that is not possible, ensure they are rapidly rehoused in safe, secure, appropriate and stable housing.

    To support this, the Family Violence Housing Assistance Implementation Taskforce was established in May 2016. The Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing appointed an independent Chair and 13 members, including senior representatives of the social and commercial housing sectors, homelessness sector, family violence service sector and victim survivor community.

    The Taskforce provides expert and independent advice to government on the housing challenges faced by victim survivors to guide reform in homelessness and social and affordable housing, and will assist the Minister to meet the requirement under Recommendation 20 to report annually to the Parliamentary Committee on Family Violence when established.

    The Taskforce has established three working groups, which are co-chaired by a Taskforce member and a senior government representative:

    • Evidence Working Group – monitors, evaluates and reports on the rollout of family violence and housing-related initiatives
    • Housing Supply Working Group – quantifies the number of additional social housing units required for people who are unable to gain access to and sustain private rental accommodation, including a specific focus on family violence victim survivors
    • Support Services Working Group – provides oversight and expert advice on Flexible Support Packages and family violence refuge redevelopment, as well as overseeing initiatives designed to prevent homelessness and remove blockages to accessing crisis accommodation
  • While this recommendation has been implemented, the work of the Taskforce will continue, particularly in building an evidence base to support policy and program development. Initiatives of the Taskforce include:

    • Commissioning an independent evaluation of initiatives in the $152 million family violence Housing Blitz package. The evaluation commenced on 18 January 2017 and a final report was delivered in early 2018.
    • Commissioning research on the shortage of long term social housing in Victoria. The report was completed in late 2016 and was used to develop the scope for a supply and demand model for social housing and housing-related assistance in Victoria, including a focus on family violence. Development of the model commenced in August 2017 and is anticipated to be completed in mid-2018.
    • Commissioning research to build a profile of women and children experiencing family violence who require a crisis supported response. This research supports a number of recommendations, including Recommendation 16 – Review contractual arrangements for crisis supported accommodation to remove barriers for particular groups, Recommendation 18 – Give priority to victims gaining stable housing as quickly as possible and Recommendation 176 – Remove barriers to crisis supported accommodation for women and children with disabilities. The research report was delivered in July 2017. It both confirms the findings of the Royal Commission report and provides a clearer understanding of issues in relation to refuge access, support and exit for different client groups. The report made a number of recommendations to improve entry processes into refuges, support for women and children in refuges and pathways to sustainable housing.
    • Providing oversight and expert advice on an independent evaluation of family violence Flexible Support Packages. The final report of this evaluation was delivered in September 2017.
  • Implemented.

Reviewed 17 May 2020

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