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31 March 2020

Fears of COVID-19 housing crisis for vulnerable families

Australia’s leading national women’s organisation is warning of an impending housing crisis for women and children escaping domestic and family violence during and after the COVID-19 lockdown.

YWCA Director of National Housing and Property Development Jan Berriman said the Federal Government’s COVID-19 pledge of $150 million to support an expected rise in demand for domestic and family violence services was welcomed but it would not go far enough to meet the rising need for safe housing for women and children at risk.

“There was not enough crisis, refuge, social or affordable housing stock to meet demand even before COVID-19,” Ms Berriman said. “With the number of domestic violence cases expected to rise significantly in the coming months, we will see a sharp increase in homelessness and families forced to live in unsuitable crisis accommodation.

“We need urgent action to increase affordable housing stock so women and children escaping violence have access to safe, long term accommodation.”

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