CHIA launches national domestic and family violence standards

Community Housing Industry Association

The Community Housing Industry Association has today launched a new set of national standards to help housing providers respond effectively to domestic and family violence.

The standards include offering victim-survivors the chance to move house where required, ensuring homes are promptly maintained, and making sure staff are trained in how to work with victim-survivors and help them access support services.

The standards cover seven areas including:

• Building a skilled workforce

• Facilitating access to support for victim-survivors who are tenants

• Strong access, tenancy management and maintenance practice

• Monitoring of operational performance

• Advocacy and community engagement

• Maintaining and/or expanding housing services to victim-survivors

• Governance

CHIA CEO Wendy Hayhurst will launch the standards with Justine Elliot MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, and community housing providers in Sydney today.

“Domestic and family violence is the most common cause of homelessness and results in thousands of women and children turning to crisis accommodation each year,” said Ms Hayhurst.

“The availability of social and affordable rental housing is a key mechanism allowing them to escape and rebuild their lives.

“These national standards will help community housing organisations ensure that when victim-survivors are offered a permanent home it is safe, secure and provides access to the support services they need.

“The standards will also help community organisations demonstrate their skills and expertise and provide assurance to tenants and other stakeholders that they respond effectively to domestic and family violence.”

Simone Parsons, COO of community housing provider Bridge Housing, said the standards will help providers to continually review and strengthen their practice.

“We have seen a year-on-year surge in women and children escaping domestic and family violence who need a safe, stable home where they can rebuild their lives.

“These standards will assist us to respond and support victim-survivors by placing them at the centre of what we do, providing inclusive services and collaborating with DFV specialists.”

CHIA’s members manage 132,000 homes around the country. For a full list of the standards click here

Nick Lucchinelli 0422 229 032

/Public Release.