Removing barriers for domestic violence victim-survivors

A re-elected NSW Liberal and Nationals Government will provide victim-survivors of domestic violence with access to first home buyer support and interest-free rental bond loans to help them rebuild their lives.

Under the initiative, the Government will waive the Rentstart Bond Loan eligibility criteria for people leaving domestic violence and provide access to both the First Homer Buyer Choice and First Home Buyer Assistance schemes.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said these reforms would help remove major barriers to housing at a time when people needed it most.

“We want to make it easier for those people leaving an abusive relationship to be able to rebuild their lives, as well as the lives of their children,” Mr Perrottet said.

“One of the most important first steps is securing a safe home, which is why we will make all of our first home buyer concessions available so they’re able to access a stamp-duty concession or opt in to pay a land tax instead.

“We will also make interest-free loans available to cover the bond on a private rental, ensuring they can quickly secure a new home by removing a potential financial barrier.”

Treasurer Matt Kean said a re-elected Liberal Nationals Government would legislate changes to expand the criteria of the First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme and First Home Buyer Choice.

“Under the changes, victim-survivors will be able to access stamp duty exemptions and concessions the same way first home buyers can, even if they have previously owned property with a former partner,” Mr Kean said.

“It’s a small change that can make a big difference to helping victim-survivors buy a home to call their own.”

Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said supporting victim-survivors is a priority for NSW Government.

“We’re building on our record investment in prevention and support because we don’t want to see more heartbreaking headlines about someone being killed or injured by a person who claimed to love them,” Mrs Ward said.

“Reforms including the Right to Ask domestic violence disclosure scheme and expansion of electronic monitoring are nation-leading initiatives which will improve safety.”

Minister for Families and Communities Natasha Maclaren-Jones said it was critical that domestic violence victim-survivors had access to safe housing.

“The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is committed to supporting victim-survivors to have safe and stable accommodation with wrap around support to help them to get back on their feet.”

These measures build on a range of existing supports provided by the Government to help people escape domestic violence, including:

  • Waiving the fees associated with changing your name and obtaining a new driver’s license;
  • Facilitating the immediate termination of a tenancy to escape violence;
  • Providing 24/7 support via the NSW Domestic Violence Line to help find them a safe place to stay or transport for them and their children; connect them to police, courts, lawyers and counsellors; and help with a safety plan.

The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is investing record funding of over $700 million in initiatives to support Women’s Safety including:

  • The ‘Right to Ask’ scheme where people can find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence offences;
  • $20 million for up to 200 additional electronic monitoring devices;
  • $426.6 million to expand the Core and Cluster initiative, to deliver and operate new women’s refuges that will support up to an additional 2,900 women and children escaping domestic and family violence each year. This is the largest funding commitment ever made to the domestic violence sector;
  • Doubling Domestic and Family Violence leave for NSW Government sector employees from 10 to 20 days;
  • Landmark laws to criminalise coercive control in intimate partner relationships
  • Nation-leading affirmative consent laws, which commenced on 1 June 2022.
  • Releasing state-wide plans to address domestic, family and sexual violence that will respond to and align with the National Plan.
  • Banning self-represented people accused of domestic violence in criminal and related proceedings from directly cross-examining domestic violence complainants.

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