Response to the Inquiry into the rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria final report

11 December 2023

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Safe and Equal welcomes the Final Report of the Inquiry into the rental and housing affordability crisis in Victoria, released last week by the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee. While the scope of the report is broad, it recognises the significant impacts an absence of safe and secure housing can have on victim survivors of family violence, and the difficult choice victim survivors are often faced with - to remain in an abusive home or face homelessness.

The housing crisis in Victoria is putting enormous pressure on many people in the community – particularly those experiencing or at risk of family violence. Family violence is the leading cause of homelessness for women, children and young people across Australia1. In Victoria specifically, 44 per cent of people seeking assistance from specialist homelessness services during 2021-22 did so due to family violence2. Furthermore, the increasing cost of housing and rising costs of living are further compounded for victim survivors by the deep and lasting financial impacts of family violence, including specific experiences of economic abuse3. 

Safe and Equal made a submission to the inquiry earlier this year. We are pleased to see the report include our recommendation that the Victorian Government commit to building 60,000 new social housing dwellings by 2034. We strongly support the report’s focus on the creation of new social homes, alongside increased support for private rental schemes, such as the Private Rental Assistance Program, and further examination of tax concessions such as negative gearing by the Commonwealth Government.  

The recommendations in this report articulate a plan to address the housing affordability crisis in Victoria. However, to end homelessness among victim survivors, these recommendations alone will not get us there. With victim survivors waiting an average of nearly two years for social housing4 and just 109 private rental properties across Victoria classified as affordable for single people earning minimum wage5, we need the Victorian Government to take immediate action to ensure every person escaping violence has timely access to safe and affordable housing options.  

Combined with the recommendations listed in this report, we need  initiatives that enable and support victim survivors to remain safe in their own homes, such as increased access to family violence financial counsellors and legal assistance, increased access to income through well-paid employment opportunities and increased social security payments; expanded ways to keep perpetrators accountable, and increased housing for perpetrators so more victim survivors can feel that staying safe in their home is a viable option. 

We thank the Committee for this report and encourage the Victorian Government to implement the report’s recommendations and take urgent action to ensure all victim survivors having a safe place to call home. 

Read the Final Report here.


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘Specialist homelessness services annual report 2021-22’, 8 December 22.
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘Specialist homelessness services 2021-22: Victoria’, Accessed 15 November 2023.
  3. 23% of Australian women have faced direct economic abuse from a cohabiting partner: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022, Personal Safety Survey 2022
  4. The Guardian, ‘Victorian domestic violence victims wait two years for public housing, data shows’, 1 November 2023.,waiting%20time%20was%2011.1%20months
  5. Anglicare Australia, ‘Rental Affordability Snapshot report 2023’, pg. 97.

Page last updated Monday, December 11 2023


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