Australian-First Housing For Family Violence Survivors

14 May 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting more women and children experiencing family violence to have a safe place to call home, with an Australian-first project opening in Dandenong.

Minister for Housing Richard Wynne was joined by Minister for Women and Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams to open Launch Housing’s Viv’s Place, an apartment building for at-risk women and children.

The $30 million project has been funded by an investment of more than $13 million by the Labor Government, as well as philanthropic, community and individual donations.

Viv’s Place – named after Launch Housing’s first social worker, Vivienne McCutcheon – will provide a fresh start for more than 60 women and 130 children escaping family violence and homelessness, with permanent housing and wraparound support services in the new building.

The building has 60 apartments, along with communal kitchen and living spaces, children’s play spaces, offices, a landscaped courtyard, and services for families and children available on site.

Uniting Vic.Tas and a range of community organisations will provide a comprehensive program of culturally appropriate support services including education, employment, health and wellbeing, parenting, counselling, and trauma care.

The project is based on the successful Sugar Hill model, used in New York by Broadway Housing Communities for the past 30 years. The model has delivered permanent housing to thousands of mothers and children and created communities at each of its sites, where residents receive the support they need to live independent, stable lives.

The landmark $5.3 billion Big Housing Build will deliver more than 12,000 new homes across Victoria, boosting our state’s social housing supply by 10 per cent. Under this record investment, one in 8 new social housing dwellings will be allocated for family violence survivors over the next three years, providing an additional 1,000 homes.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Housing Richard Wynne

“Many women who are forced to leave their home are faced with the dilemma of where to go – Viv’s Place will provide that port in the storm when it is most needed.”

“Viv’s Place will make a significant difference in the lives of women fleeing family violence by providing safe and secure accommodation in an area close to the services and job opportunities they need.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams

“Women and children experiencing family violence often face the immediate challenge of finding a new home. We are proud to be involved in this project, which will provide women and their children with the support they need to help them recover and rebuild.”

Reviewed 14 May 2022

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