Mackay Safer Families Initiative delivers housing for women escaping DFV

Crisis support services in Mackay have been bolstered as the Palaszczuk Government announces more emergency accommodation for the region.

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert announced the Mackay Safer Families Initiative for her community which consists of additional homelessness support, as well as 20 new homes for families fleeing domestic and family violence situations, and housing support for low income retired women.

“While the Palaszczuk Government is constructing 16 additional homes in the Mackay region, there is an urgent need for additional crisis accommodation in our community.

“Domestic and family violence won’t leave our community unless we work collectively to solve it. Minister de Brenni and I have been working together for some time, after my community came to me with issues that we needed to solve.

“I’m pleased to announce today that we are delivering a Mackay Safer Families Initiative that provides immediate support, increasing housing options for families when they need it.”

Ms Gilbert said the Mackay Safer Families Initiative contained:

  • 20 ready-to-go homes for families fleeing domestic and family violence.
  • Increased homelessness outreach services through the Community Accomodation Support Agency.
  • Homes for single older women who could not find an affordable rental property to meet their needs in the region.
  • 2 new homes for Samaritan House refuge.

Having met with the Community Accommodation Support Agency (CASA) this morning, Ms Gilbert announced that they had received an additional $151,200 to deliver much needed homelessness outreach services and brokerage funding, with the additional services set to commence this month.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said that the Palaszczuk Government would continually be adapting its approach as the needs of communities changed.

“With vacancy rates low, and rental costs increasing in Mackay, we know that women and their children escaping domestic and family violence feel this more than most.

“If you come to the Queensland Government and are escaping a violent relationship, we will find you a place to stay immediately.

“Safe, secure and stable housing is fundamental to achieving immediate and ongoing safety of people in crisis and well as helping to rebuild lives after experiencing violence.”

Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said that while the Palaszczuk government already had a homelessness action network in place in the region, additional support had been provided to provide a lifeline for women and their children doing it tough.

“With current funding we support 3,000 people a year in Mackay with the combined efforts of the local service providers here.

“Working with Community Housing and Information Centre Incorporated (CHIC) to head-lease 20 additional ready to move in homes, we have already been able to provide 10 families immediate accommodation as we find them a more permanent place to call home.”

Mr de Brenni said as part of the Safer Families Initiative, Mackay would benefit from a $365,000 investment into the Better Together Housing (BTH) model for older women who are struggling to secure affordable housing.

“Many older women are particularly vulnerable to homelessness because of divorce, insufficient superannuation or savings to fund the cost of living, discrimination in the housing market, the death of an income earning spouse, poor health or serious illness,” he said.

“Through the BTH model, vulnerable older women have choices about how to manage their housing needs so they can be self-directed, age in place in their community of choice and make positive social connections,” Mr de Brenni said.

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