The Palaszczuk Government held its first Housing and Domestic and Family Violence Roundtable this week – a new initiative to ensure Queensland women and children have access to safe and affordable housing.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shannon Fentiman said the Roundtable was a great opportunity to investigate long-term housing solutions for those experiencing violence committed against them.
“Women and children impacted by domestic and family violence are often in unsafe or unstable housing situations and when combined with income insecurity they face the added danger of homelessness,” Minister Fentiman said.
“We need to look at what more we can do to ensure women and families escaping violence not only have the support to leave a dangerous situation, but also have access to safe and secure housing.
“The Housing and DFV Roundtable will be an ongoing initiative bringing together critical non-government stakeholders and senior housing and justice decision makers to consider the state’s capacity to respond to women experiencing violence, housing insecurity and possible homelessness.
“Our goal is to identify opportunities to strengthen our services and the transitions between them, keep women safe, and provide long-term, stable and affordable housing options for women and children escaping domestic and family violence.
“I’m proud of the Palaszczuk Government’s record of investing in emergency, transitional and long- term accommodation for women – investing close to $140 million for housing and support to vulnerable people in 2020-21, including those experiencing domestic and family violence, young people and First Nations people through our investment in specialist homelessness services across Queensland.
“We know there is significant work is still needed, and acknowledge the valuable input required from organisations across the state which can guide further reform.”
“We want Queensland women to feel secure that they can reach out for support and that our response covers all of their needs.”
Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch said the Roundtable was an important step in the collaborative approach to improving housing outcomes for Queensland women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.
“For families escaping domestic violence, having a safe place to go is vital,” Minister Enoch said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has a range of housing services available to individuals and families who are in this situation, including Flexible Assistance Packages to help people access safe housing, Helping Hand Headleases that help women and children who are displaced from their homes, and our Affordable Housing for Women Experiencing DFV Initiative, which also helps headlease properties for women who have no exit pathway from shelters.
“These are some examples of a range of housing programs we have, but going forward it is also important to hear from the sector to help identify areas where future action is needed, and that is what the roundtable is all about.”
The Roundtable will build on discussions and recommendations identified in the COVID-19 Virtual DFV Summit last year and will be co-chaired by Minister Fentiman and Minister Enoch.
Minister Fentiman urged any person experiencing domestic or family violence to seek support or advice by calling DVConnect Womensline (1800 811 811) or contacting Police on 000 in an emergency.
“We continue to support those experiencing violence and acknowledge the courage they show in reaching out,” Minister Fentiman said.
“I look forward to discussing with my colleagues and stakeholders how we can work better together to address housing vulnerability for women and children escaping violence.”
The Housing and Domestic and Family Violence Roundtable is an initiative between the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and housing and DFV stakeholder groups.