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Housing a critical need for those fleeing family violence

For many victims of family violence not having a home – somewhere to feel safe and secure again – can be the greatest challenge to moving forward.

That’s why a key initiative of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s Safe Homes, Safe Families: Tasmania’s Family Violence Action Plan 2015-2020 is to invest $2.4 million into rapid rehousing.

Tasmania’s first Family Violence Action Plan is a whole-of-government response to an intolerable social ill that for too long has been hidden behind closed doors.

We are committed to working with the community to change attitudes around gender equality and violence, to hold perpetrators to account, and to better support victims.

Based on a New South Wales model, rapid rehousing will provide an answer to the first question faced by many families fleeing family violence – where will we live?

By entering into leases with private landlords, we will create a pool of 50 furnished properties around the State to rapidly rehouse those who have experienced family violence and who need safe and secure accommodation.

Delivered through Housing Connect, the State’s one-stop shop for Tasmanians’ housing needs, the funding includes provision to employ a full-time equivalent specialised case management support worker.

Those housed will enter sub-lease arrangements for as long as they are in need, whether that be in the short or longer term, and may also wish to take over a lease, with a replacement property found to maintain the pool.

Our four community housing providers under the Better Housing Futures Program will manage leases and provide support to tenants right across Tasmania.

This initiative will help ease demand on our crisis services while better meeting the needs of families for whom shelters are not necessarily appropriate. The houses also offer more flexibility in meeting demand as required in different locations around the State, and to also change the location of housing if there is a risk from perpetrators.

We are also investing in crisis accommodation, with $2 million for capital works to grow capacity and improve safety for residents.

Family violence is the most common underlying issue for our social services and the need for more housing is proof of this, while our action plan shows we are truly responding with a whole-of-government approach, led by the Premier.

We will deliver for Tasmanian families fleeing such a terrible ordeal by providing new homes so they can again have the safety and security that is everyone’s right.

Safe Homes, Safe Families: Tasmania’s Family Violence Action Plan 2015-2020 is available online at www.dpac.tas.gov.au/safehomessafefamilies

If you or someone you know is impacted by family violence or sexual assault, call the Safe at Home Family Violence Response and Referral Line on 1800 633 937 or visit www.1800respect.org.au In an emergency, call 000.
Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Human Services

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