Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI) will receive funding to purchase seven properties around Melbourne to house women and children fleeing family violence, as part of the Victorian Government’s Rapid Housing Assistance program. The properties will be located in the Cardinia, Kingston and Moreland municipalities.

The program is a response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence which highlighted that access to safe housing was a significant barrier to women and children escaping violence and abuse.

CEO, Jeanette Large, said “WPI have been developing and providing long-term, safe and affordable housing for vulnerable women and their children for almost 20 years. Our organisation addresses the huge disadvantage these women face in relation to housing. We already accommodate over 180 women and children in 68 properties around Melbourne, and more than half of them were fleeing family violence.”

WPI is proud to be one of the community housing groups selected to work with the Andrews Government to help women who experience family violence to rebuild their lives.

“The devastating effects of an abusive home are magnified when the victims also face homelessness. The lack of long-term, safe and affordable accommodation sees many women returning to unsafe situations or our crisis accommodation services becoming clogged.” Ms Large said.

WPI will add a further eight properties to its portfolio by the end of 2016, with a development in Coburg nearing completion. Ms Large said that along with the additional seven properties it will purchase through the Rapid Housing Assistance program, this marks a step forward in WPI’s plan to significantly increase its supply of housing. The seven new properties have been identified and will be occupied by tenants before June 2017.

“Homelessness Week highlighted for all of us that there is so much more to be done. We have around 200 women on our waiting list and our goal is to help many, many more women. We look forward to working with government and the community and corporate sectors to provide long-term solutions to safe and affordable housing for disadvantaged women.”  Ms Large said.
For more information about Women’s Property Initiatives, go to wpi.org.au