Below is an overview of the priority area to support you in giving your feedback, followed by a set of questions related to the information we have provided.
This package of information highlights what government has done so far, and what it intends to do over the coming three years, to improve access to secure and affordable housing and crisis accommodation critical to the support of victim survivors:
- Priority area overview summarises what government is doing and shows how housing activities support the achievement of the Family Violence Outcomes Framework (FVOF) as we continue to implement Royal Commission recommendations
- Achievements since 2016 showcases key achievements during RAP1
- Rolling action plan 2020 – 2023 sets out the activities government proposes to deliver for this priority over the next three years
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts reflects on how coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted housing initiatives
- Reform principles shows how the three reform principles (Aboriginal self-determination, lived experience and intersectionality) have been considered in planning to improve access to secure and affordable housing and crisis accommodation.
NOTE: An accessible word version and high resolution PDF of this information is also available to view and download below.
The Royal Commission into Family Violence highlighted a shortfall in safe, secure and affordable accommodation for women and children who are victim survivors of family violence. Forty-four per cent of all clients seeking assistance from a homelessness service in Victoria in 2018 – 2019 cited family and domestic violence as a reason for seeking assistance.
Safe, stable and affordable housing is vital to improving the health and wellbeing and community and economic participation of victim survivors, including children and young people.
How we are improving access to safe and stable housing options
The Family Violence Outcomes Framework (FVOF)
The FVOF articulates the government’s vision to end family violence; the four domains reflect the long-term outcomes sought through the collective efforts of the reform. The domains represent the key priorities in preventing and responding to family violence and clarifying what constitutes success.
Activities in this priority area will likely have the greatest impact in achieving outcomes against the following highlighted FVOF domains:
Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV)
With more than two-thirds of the Family Violence Royal Commission recommendations now implemented, delivery of activities under this priority over the next three years will continue to support recommendation implementation. Updates will continue to be provided via the vic.gov.au website.
Women and children escaping family violence are getting faster access to safe and stable accommodation.
The $152 million Family Violence Housing Blitz package (2016) has contributed to funding:
- prioritisation of housing for family violence victim survivors (ongoing): since the introduction of the Victorian Housing Register in 2016, family violence victim survivors are the highest priority category on the Register.
- Rapid Housing Assistance providing a safety net so victim survivors can stabilise their lives faster: recipients have reported significant reduction in financial stress and earlier re-engagement with education for their children and the workforce, for them (where possible)
- 6,500 Flexible Support Packages every year since 2016 enabling victim survivors and their children to remain in safe housing (some packages delivered through annual budget allocations)
- the Private Rental Assistance Program has been delivered and will continue to support family violence victim survivors (currently funded until 2020 – 2021).
We have increased the quantity and quality of social housing and crisis accommodation:
- 325 long term social housing properties purchased
- new crisis accommodation units constructed and existing crisis accommodation units upgraded to better provide for the needs of women and children escaping family violence
- development of 19 new family violence refuges, including two new Aboriginal-specific refuges, underway
- three new youth refugesbuilt for young people experiencing homelessness, many of whom are escaping family violence
- since 2016, 401 medium-term (12 month) tenancies leased by government from the private sector.
Preliminary findings show the initiatives are working and having a positive impact:
- Preliminary findings of an evaluation of the Public Housing Allocations Operational Guidelines show family violence victim survivors are being prioritised for housing including transfers to alternative accommodation where this is a preferred option
- Preliminary findings of an evaluation of the Private Rental Assistance Program suggest it has been effective in stabilising financial and housing issues for clients.
NB: Timeline milestones have been included where applicable; text in panels indicates an ongoing and/or non date specific activity.
Service delivery adaptation, learnings and innovations during coronavirus (COVID-19)
There has been increased family violence funding for crisis accommodation during coronavirus (COVID-19). The increased urgency, severity and complexity of housing challenges has led to stronger collaboration across agencies.
Disruption to town planning processes for new public homes in some councils has impacted the delivery of new youth refuges.
NB: This is an interim summary of the impacts, adaptations and innovations which have arisen as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). These will continue to be monitored and considered as the final RAP2 is developed.
- The April 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Omnibus Bill brought forward provisions in the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act enabling Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to terminate or create a new tenancy agreement in situations of family violence or personal violence (s233A).
Coronavirus (COVID-19) related housing investment
- Initial coronavirus (COVID-19) specific assistance: almost $6 million allocated for Housing Establishment Funds to provide emergency accommodation for people experiencing homelessness.
- $8.8 million has been allocated for the establishment of four coronavirus (COVID-19) Isolation and Recovery Facilities to ensure people experiencing homelessness have somewhere safe to isolate and recover. A mobile testing unit is also operating as part of this project. These facilities have now been partially repurposed to accommodate people experiencing homelessness who have chronic health needs.
- An additional $9.8 million has been allocated to ensure people experiencing homelessness residing temporarily in emergency hotel accommodation continue to receive support and accommodation until the end of July 2020.
- Increasing quality and quantity of social housing – with $500 million to build 168 new units and upgrade 23,000 dwellings through the Building Works investment package, including $10 million to accelerate and increase a range of new and existing activities to support women and children escaping family violence (18 May 2020).
- $20 million investment in the Whole of Victorian Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Accommodation (CEA) program to provide short-term accommodation for family violence victim survivors who do not feel safe isolating or recovering from coronavirus (COVID-19) at home (10 April 2020).
Housing service delivery during coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Homelessness Emergency Assistance Response Teams (HEARTs) embedded in each local homelessness network area to coordinate housing and homelessness service providers to provide better local level support for people experiencing homelessness. The initial focus of the HEARTs is on people who, during coronavirus (COVID-19), require access to or are placed in emergency accommodation such as hotels and motels.
- Family violence refuges: agencies are reporting greater collaboration and stronger interfaces between different parts of the service system such as housing and homelessness, mental health and alcohol and other drug sectors. Refuges have scaled back to one family per refuge, impacting on demand and cost on placements in alternative forms of crisis accommodation including motels.
- More motels have been willing to accept family violence victims due to the downturn in occupancy. It is considered that maintaining these relationships would be beneficial.
We have considered the principles that underpin the reform in designing our strategy to deliver safe, stable and affordable housing.
- Service delivery changes in accommodation are discussed in sector forums or communities of practice.
- Victim safety is a paramount consideration for practitioners.
- The impact of these changes on victim experience and safety is reviewed in the course of individual organisation and broader sector reflections.
- Preliminary findings of an evaluation of the Public Housing Allocations Operational Guidelines demonstrate that family violence victim survivors are being prioritised for housing, including transfers to alternative accommodation where this is a preferred option.
- May 2020: $500 million Building Works investment package includes $125 million towards projects that increase housing options for women and children fleeing family violence, Aboriginal people, and those leaving state-run services, such as prisons. This addresses an identified concern that diverse cohorts are the most vulnerable to housing insecurity.
- The Victorian Government is working with refuge providers to phase out communal refuges and move towards the ‘core and cluster’ model, which includes accommodation that promotes safety, is accessible to people with disabilities, provides private units and enables connections with the community, work and school.
- Funding continues in 2019 – 2020 to family violence refuge and crisis accommodation providers who support victim survivors on temporary visas. This funding seeks to directly address barriers for refuges to accept women with no income by assisting them with the costs of support, increasing access to support for this cohort.
- Aboriginal family violence refuges: two new Aboriginal family violence refuges will be built to ensure more Aboriginal women, children and families who are unable to remain at home because of violence will have a safe, culturally appropriate accommodation option.
- The completed transfer of 1,448 Director of Housing-owned properties to Aboriginal Housing Victoria will continue to support self-determination by transferring power and resources back to the community.
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Housing is one of 10 priority themes and projects for RAP2. If you would like to contribute to the development of our plans for other priority areas please click on the link below to return to the homepage.
Collection notice: The Department of Premier and Cabinet is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. The information you provide will be used to finalise the Victorian Government’s Family Violence Rolling Action Plan 2020 – 2023 (RAP2).
By submitting this survey, you consent to the Department of Premier and Cabinet collecting any personal information which you provide in your responses.
The information you provide may be made available to employees of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Victorian Government employees or contractors whose duties require them to use it.
Survey responses, other than your personal information, may be published in the final RAP2 if you have provided consent for us to do so, which will be publicly available on the Victorian Government website (vic.gov.au). To the extent where you provided your organisation name and asked for it not to be published, this will be removed from any publishing of your survey responses. Efforts will be made to de-identify survey responses, and if this is not practically possible, those survey responses will not be published in the final RAP2.
You are entitled to access and correct your personal information. If you would like to access or correct the information you have provided to the department, please contact us by email at FV.RAP@dpc.vic.gov.au. In some cases, requests for personal information may be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic).