As you would all be aware, there has been a significant change in the Hobart rental property market over the last few years, with Hobart now having one of the highest rents in Australia. Clearly this has affected the demand for accommodation, with more women and children seeking assistance due to the housing crisis and housing affordability than ever before.

We know from first-hand experience, that some of the women seeking assistance are in coupled male/female relationships with children, and unfortunately, that these families are being separated.

We are told time and time again that while the women and children come to HWS the men often sleep rough until a house for the family becomes available. This is a distressing time for all involved.

With the support from the Department of Communities we have recently made a limited number of transitional properties available to women as well as men, with the proviso that they are in an existing family unit.

These transitional properties are for families that have low support needs and where there is no family violence and are not located at our crisis centre but are individual properties in the community.

The provision of this transitional housing aligns with the HWS Vision, Mission and Values, as keeping families together is about keeping vulnerable families safe, whole and supported. For HWS, it’s not only about ending homelessness; it’s about creating better futures with the recognition that few events are more traumatic for women and children than not having a family together.

Hobart Women’s Shelter will continue to provide specialist support to women and children experiencing family violence and/or homelessness in our crisis shelter.

Everyone has a role to end family violence and we will continue our work through the delivery of the ‘Mentors in Violence Program’ to develop community capacity to respond to behaviours that perpetuate violence against women.

In this way, HWS will continue to promote the total and equitable participation of both men and women in society.

Janet Saunders
CEO, Hobart Women’s Shelter

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