Hume Community Housing is set to deliver a new refuge in Port Stephens, thanks to a significant investment from NSW State Government.
The investment provided by the State Government aims to provide critical housing and support services for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence.
The $484.3 million fund was pledged in October 2021, and includes the delivery and operation of 39 new Core and Cluster women refuges across NSW.
Hume Community Housing has welcomed the announcement, as data reveals the Port Stephens local government area (LG) records significantly higher incidents of reported family and domestic violence.
Violent incidents are 2.3 times more likely to be reported in Raymond Terrace and 2.7 times more in Tanilba Bay than the NSW state average.
Hume Community Housing’s Project Support Manager, Lucy Andrews said she knows first-hand the dire need for appropriate and safe crisis accommodation in the area.
“Because there is no refuge or crisis accommodation in the region, our impacted customers are struggling to escape often dangerous living environments,” Lucy said.
“We thank the NSW Government as this announcement will be life-changing for those women and children experiencing domestic violence.”
The refuge will support local women and children requiring immediate protection from domestic family violence, prioritising Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse women. Services will also be available to gender-diverse and non-binary victim-survivors.
The fund delivers refuge based on an innovative new core and cluster model, which combines the services and supports of a traditional refuge with the independent living facilities of transitional accommodation (cluster).
The ‘core’ is a communal facility that provides access to services such as counselling, legal assistance, education, and employment support designed in a child-friendly and trauma-informed way.
Hume Community Housing aims to deliver the model in partnership with Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Services (PSFaNS), who bring over 35 years of local experience providing life-changing services to women and families in the region.
Port Stephens Council played a role in Hume Community Housing’s tender bid and is acknowledged as an important supporter of increased crisis housing in the region.