Thursday, April 18, 2024

Service providers appointed to DV housing support program

The Queensland Government has appointed three service providers to deliver a pilot program to help support victim-survivors experiencing, or at risk of homelessness due to domestic, family and sexual violence.

The Housing Connectors program includes nine specialist workers, working in teams of three, that will be embedded at three South East Queensland locations – Toowoomba, Brisbane and Moreton Bay.

“When women and families flee a violent situation, they typically leave with just the clothes on their back,” said Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Yvette D’Ath.

“Safe and secure housing is key to rebuilding their lives, which is why this pilot program is important.

“This program will provide valuable hands-on support for women to assist them to find expedited housing outcomes as well as support referrals to other services and medium to long-term accommodation solutions.

“We know there is unprecedented pressure on the housing market which is why it is important we find innovative solutions to support Queenslanders experiencing domestic and family violence to find safe and sustainable housing.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring the safety of Queensland women and families, and I’m pleased to see the rollout of this new program in the regions that need it most.”

The Government says these regions have been chosen following consultation with the Department of Housing on data indicating unmet demand in the area and local sector capacity.

“Safety for women and families escaping domestic violence includes having a place to call home,” said Housing Minister, Meaghan Scanlon.

“We are continuing to support the needs of our most vulnerable through our Homes for Queenslanders plan boosting funding for frontline services, our social housing build and rental support package.

“This pilot is another program that will bolster the support for victim-survivors when it comes to housing and starting that next chapter in their lives,” she said.

This Housing Pilot was made possible by funding from the Federal Government. The Housing Connectors initiative is part of the Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence Responses 2021-27 National Partnership Agreement (NPA) and will receive $4.95m in funding from 2023-2026.

The Domestic Violence Action Centre will deliver services in Toowoomba, while Micah Projects will supply services in Brisbane and Kyabra has been contracted for the Moreton Bay region.

All three suppliers are already providing services for persons who fear or experience DFSV.

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to ending violence against women and children and ensuring they have a safe place to go when escaping violence, and this investment is proof of this commitment,” said Federal Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth.

The Housing Connectors will work with the victim-survivors in a one-on-one capacity to manage their safety and assist them to navigate the housing and human services systems.

They will assist with locating suitable and sustainable housing and support referrals.

The teams will be embedded within DFSV services and work with government and local agencies – including disability services, First Nations health services, settlement/immigration services, mental health and alcohol and other drug services, employment and training services, the Government today confirmed.

They will assist victim-survivors to maintain or establish housing, including transitioning any existing supports or services to a new location if required.

Each Housing Connector role will have access to brokerage funds, as part of an integrated service response and will be a vital resource for victim-survivors.

The initiative will be reviewed in 2024 to examine outcomes and shape any future policy and planning.

“This vital pilot program will provide trauma-informed support to break the cycles of abuse and empower victim-survivors to rebuild their lives,” said Federal Assistant Minister for Social Services, and the Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Justine Elliot.

“The National Partnership facilitates initiatives such as these to support the long-term recovery and healing that victim-survivors deserve.”

The model will specifically assist victim-survivors with a disability, mental illness, problematic alcohol and other drug use, or those who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, are culturally and linguistically diverse, or LGBTQIA+.

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