More than 1,000 families escaping domestic violence have been supported into safe and secure housing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with the support of a NSW Government rental assistance program.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness, and Rent Choice Start Safely was preventing women and their children from ending up on the streets.
“One in three people who access specialist homelessness services in NSW report being victims of domestic and family violence,” Mr Ward said.
“This program is about helping victims of domestic violence into safe and secure housing, and giving them the services and support they need to rebuild their lives.”
The NSW Government invested $20 million in additional rental subsidy packages, including Rent Choice Start Safely, to help people at risk of homelessness to access, or remain in, the private rental market.
The program includes access to tailored support to help victims of domestic violence improve their health and general wellbeing, and provide a pathway to education, employment and housing independence.
Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said the investments made during the COVID-19 pandemic were supporting women across NSW to leave unsafe relationships.
“No person deserves to live in fear of violence. Start Safely ensures survivors have the confidence to leave a relationship without the fear of financial insecurity or not being able to afford a place to live,” Mr Speakman said.
“Most importantly, it is helping put a stop to domestic violence by providing a pathway for victims to escape, have a safe place for them and their children to sleep and access supports to begin the journey of recovery.”