Newport housing for victims of family violence opens

The Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz and the local member for Williamstown Wade Noonan opened a new development designed specifically for women and children escaping family violence.

The development saw an existing set of seven units replaced with 9 x 1 bedroom units and 11 x 2 bedroom units; the building will be managed by Women's Housing Limited, a specialist community provider which focuses on housing for women over 55 and victims of family violence.

Finance for the development was provided as a grant through the Victorian Property Fund which in turn is funded through licensing fees and fines paid by estate agents and conveyancers.

Rents in the units capped at 30 percent of a household's income and according to WHL's website other eligibility criteria include tenants must not own or part-own property elsewhere, must have less than $30,000 in assets and have Australian citizenship or permanent residency status.

The Minister for Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz said "Women and children escaping family violence often face the immediate challenge of finding a new home.  That's why we have stepped in to fund these units that are safe, secure and that will help rebuild lives."

The Labor Government provided a $5.6 million grant from the Victorian Property Fund (VPF) to Women’s Housing Limited to build the units.

Tenants for the new development will come from the public housing waiting list. To make them affordable, rent will be set at a maximum of 75 per cent of market price, or 30 per cent of a household’s income.

The units are located close to health and community services, public transport, shops and schools, and have been designed to meet at least a 6-star energy efficiency rating. This includes features to reduce energy and water consumption, helping to keep utility bills low.

Other projects that have received grants from the Victorian Property Fund include the City Gate conversion project which will see 32 studio, 5 x 1 bedroom, 11 x 2 bedroom and 2 x 3 bedroom units added to the community housing stock in St Kilda.

Likewise, Housing Choices Australia received a $4.9million grant from the VPF to finance conversions and new developments in Dandenong and Williamstown.

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