There will be a greater supply of emergency accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence in the Shepparton region thanks to $390,000 of Federal Government funding.

The Rural Housing Network, in conjunction with VincentCare, will build and oversee two new two-bedroom apartments and one one-bedroom apartment as part of the Federal Government’s $60 million Safe Places initiative for new and expanded emergency accommodation.

Nationally, about 700 new “safe places” will be built.

Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said domestic violence was a scourge on society, and that Shepparton, and Nicholls more broadly, was not immune.

Mr Drum welcomed the funding, which he said would assist those in particularly vulnerable situations.

“This will not only ensure women and children have somewhere safe to sleep but will also provide access to specialist family and domestic violence services to help create real and lasting change in their lives,” Mr Drum said.

“When women make the decision to leave it is vital they have somewhere safe to go and as a result of this investment, VincentCare will assist an additional 75 people locally each year.”

Minister for Families and Social Services, Anne Ruston, and Assistant Minister for Community Housing, Homelessness and Community Services, Luke Howarth, said 40 projects would be funded across the country, supporting about 6000 women and children annually.

Ms Ruston said this was an important investment to improve access to suitable accommodation for women and their children.

“The first priority of the Federal Government is to keep Australians safe and secure but, sadly, we know that home is not safe for many women and children,” Ms Ruston said.

Mr Howarth said family and domestic violence was, tragically, a leading cause of homelessness for women and children.

“Importantly, about half of these places will be in remote and regional communities, helping support those who have had limited safe housing options,” Mr Howarth said.

“The Federal Government also favoured projects that provide longer term, self-contained emergency accommodation that will give women and their children increased stability.”

The $60 million Safe Places Emergency Accommodation program is part of a $78 million funding package, which includes $18 million to continue the Keeping Women Safe in their Homes initiative.

This funding forms part of the $340 million Federal Government investment in the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010–2022 which is provided in addition to our $150 million COVID-19 response package.

For more information on the Safe Places Emergency Accommodation grants visit the Community Grants Hub.

ENDS

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