Hundreds of women escaping domestic violence during COVID-19 have been supported into safe and secure housing through a NSW Government rental subsidy.
Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said domestic and family violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness for women and children and Rent Choice Start Safely is helping to prevent it.
“Start Safely is one of a range of programs supporting those at risk of homelessness to keep a roof over their head while we help them get back on their feet,” Mr Ward said.
“We are working hard to identify people at risk of homelessness during this challenging time, and are providing them with the support they need to secure housing.”
More than 350 individuals and families have been supported by Start Safely packages, which provide three years of rental subsidies in the private rental market, as well as access to services and support to help them sustain their tenancy.
Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said the program is providing the critical support women and children need.
“Everyone has a right to live a life free from violence and abuse. This program is an example of the crucial support available to help victims and their children enter, or remain in secure and affordable housing,” Mr Speakman said.
“By providing access to services to help with training and employment opportunities as well, we can support victims to live independently and most importantly, safely.”
The NSW Government is investing $20 million in additional rental subsidies until June 2021 to enable people to access and sustain private rental accommodation.
More than 500 new households started to receive Rent Choice assistance from 27 March this year, including through Rent Choice Start Safely, Rent Choice Youth and Rent Choice Assist.
For confidential advice, support and referrals related to domestic and family violence, contact: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), The NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 65 6463) or Men's Referral Service (1300 766 491).
If you are in danger or in an emergency, contact Triple Zero (000).
Download media release: Rent relief for domestic violence victims