Need for crisis housing climbs in troubled climate
A NEW $2.4m Cairns social housing project for women and families fleeing domestic abuse will only be a drop in the pond as the need for crisis accommodation climbs.
Access Community Housing has opened its first, purpose-built residential project comprising 10 one and two-bedroom units.
The project was built by MiHaven over the past 12 months using a $990,000 grant from the Federal Government's Building Better Regions Fund along with State Government reserve funds.
Access CEO Donna-Maree O'Connor said she hoped to be able to secure funding for further housing projects, but was uncertain when that would happen as funds are diverted to COVID-19 recovery.
"Currently they're focusing on helping businesses and organisations survive, and after that should come recovery, which is where I hope we'll be able to see some money," she said.
Ms O'Connor said the fact families were being isolated at home would lead to increasing tensions and fewer avenues of escape from domestic violence.
"(We're) expecting a spike in women wanting to flee violent relationships, making it more important to have projects that will take the pressure off crisis housing," she said.
"There is a distinct shortage of affordable housing in Cairns and with over 2000 people on the waiting list for social housing, women and children escaping domestic and family violence often have few housing options available to them."
Cairns Regional Domestic Violence Service chief executive Amanda Lee-Ross told the Cairns Post she was concerned how social isolation would affect domestic violence victims.
Originally published as Need for crisis housing climbs in troubled climate