NSW Government announces $500 million domestic violence funding

The NSW Government has announced new social housing and domestic violence funding worth almost $500 million this week, which will help councils support the most vulnerable members of their communities.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said it was "the biggest single investment in domestic violence" in the state's history.

The new refuges will be built in areas of high demand, many of them in regional and rural parts of the state.

Currently, one in two women seeking a refuge place is turned away due to lack of space, according to domestic violence campaigners.

Every year more than 7,500 women around the country return to violent partners because they have nowhere else to live.

NSW Police respond to more than 140,000 domestic and family violence (DFV) incidents annually and, tragically, on average, one woman is killed every nine days in Australia by a current or former partner.

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said DFV is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children, illustrating the high demand for these critical services.

In 2019-20, almost 40 per cent of the people who accessed specialist homelessness services in NSW, across our cities, regional and rural communities, had experienced domestic abuse,” Mrs Taylor said.

“One of the most important things we can do in government is to ensure that when a victim-survivor makes the courageous decision to leave a violent home – a time when she actually faces the greatest risk – that there’s a secure, supportive environment waiting to help her.”

The funding package includes:

  • $426.6 million over four years to expand Core and Cluster to deliver and operate around 75 extra women’s refuges that support women and children escaping DFV. Under the Core and Cluster model, self-contained accommodation is located next to a ‘core’, which provides access to services including counselling, legal assistance, education, and employment support. The sites contain meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment for court appearances, communal kitchens, and playgrounds.

  • $52.5 million over four years towards the Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF) partnership with the community housing sector, to provide approximately 200 sustainable, social and affordable housing dwellings for women experiencing DFV.

  • $5.2 million over four years, for a trial in two districts to provide dedicated supports for accompanied children and young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, with a focus on children and young people impacted by DFV.

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