A severe lack of safe, long-term housing is forcing women to return to violent partners or into homelessness, yet the Women’s Safety Summit program has completely ignored the issue of housing.
The Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA NSW) is calling on the Federal Government to immediately revise its program for the summit, which was released today, to include the critical issue of social and affordable housing for ensuring the safety of women and families.
“There are 50,000 people on the waiting list for social housing in NSW alone, with waits of up to 10 years or more. The absence of long-term safe and affordable housing is a significant barrier to women’s safety and must be considered in the broader context of the Summit,” NSW CHIA CEO Mark Degotardi said today.
“If you’re escaping family violence, you don’t have years to wait. You need a safe, long term home now.
“There is growing awareness of limits of access to emergency and refuge care. But even when women receive emergency support, many of them will need long-term accommodation which just isn’t there.
An estimated 7,690 women a year return to violent partners, and 9,120 women a year become homeless due to a lack of long-term housing, according to an Equity Economics report earlier this week.[i]
“Access to safe and stable housing is one of the most significant factors in women’s financial freedom, health and wellbeing. It is inexcusable that the summit will be silent on the most important factor in Australian women’s safety,” Mr Degotardi said.
“With the delay in the Summit, there is time to amend the program. We urge the Federal Government to go back and make sure housing is included in these important discussions. You just cannot talk about women’s safety without talking about secure, long term homes” he said.
Media contact: Kayla Foster, 0447 040 029