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About Safe as Houses

Safe as Houses is a program managed by Tenancy WA in collaboration with Women’s Law Centre and Street Law Centre WA, that aims to prevent homelessness for women and children affected by family and domestic violence. We provide integrated and holistic legal and support services to untangle their complex issues.

Homelessness in Western Australia is on the rise. The reasons for homelessness are many and varied, however by far the largest cause of homelessness in women and children is family and domestic violence.

Women and children escaping family and domestic violence need access to a range of support services. One of the elements essential to their ability to put their lives back on track, is safe and secure housing.

When women leave a violent relationship, they are often burdened with a complex tangle of legal and practical issues. This can include intersecting issues of family law, child support, child protection, debt, injuries compensation, criminal proceedings, tenancy, business and employment issues. This tangle of legal issues can create a serious risk of homelessness, and requires targeted coordinated legal and support services for resolution to provide a foundation for safe secure housing and a fresh start.

0%
of all homelessness in
WA is due to family and
domestic violence
0%
of those seeking
homelessness services
in WA are women

Integrated Services

Safe as Houses proactively targets services in order to secure accommodation for those that are homeless while keeping others safely housed. Currently a woman affected by family and domestic violence would need to seek out a variety of services for help with legal and practical issues. That requires her to tell her story multiple times – each at an emotional and psychological cost. It also means support is fractured as services are delivered without coordination.

By providing a support worker who uses a case-management approach, Safe as Houses is providing a more efficient, holistic and ultimately more effective way to resolve the complex tangle of legal issues family and domestic violence creates.

With many social factors also in play such as mental illness, recovery from assault injuries, children with trauma impacted behaviours and safety risk, the support worker can also refer women to appropriate support agencies.

Safe as Houses is supported by strong partnerships with KEMH, Women’s Health and Family Service, Women’s Council for Family and Domestic Violence and relevant government departments.

Proactive

Safe as Houses proactively targets services to achieve the outcome of keeping people safely housed. This strategic approach ensures that resources are effectively directed to achieve outcomes, delivering results for women and their children as well as positive social outcomes for the community.

Safe as Houses also has a proactive crime prevention focus. Childhood homelessness is the strongest indicator of adult homelessness, which is in turn, a major risk factor for adult imprisonment. By keeping women, children and young people housed, we aim to break this disempowering cycle.

Contact us

For further information or to refer a client please phone .

Approximately
0
people in Western
Australia are homeless

Specialist Support

Safe as Houses is a partnership between three WA community legal centres – Tenancy WA as the lead agency, Women’s Law Centre and Street Law Centre WA. Together this collaboration has a vast shared experience in dealing with many issues faced by women and children affected by family and domestic violence. We are all well aware of the current unmet need in this area and the real difference Safe as Houses will make in people’s lives.

Each brings their own particular area of expertise to the table, strengthening the partnership and increasing the ability to resolve issues and help women and children move towards a safer and brighter future.

Tenancy WA provides legal advice and representation on tenancy disputes including:

  • Negotiating and defending eviction proceedings;
  • Seeking orders to have a client recognised as a tenant on a lease; and
  • Seeking orders for the termination of a lease and return of the bond to allow a woman and her children to establish a new tenancy.

Women’s Law Centre will focus on Family Law issues including:

  • Family property matters;
  • Child protection through the Family and Children’s Courts;
  • Criminal Compensation for injuries related to family and domestic violence; and
  • Family Violence Restraining Orders.

Street Law Centre WA provides free, confidential legal information, advice and casework to the homeless or those at risk of homelessness in WA. Clients can access our services at free legal clinics held at partner agencies around the metropolitan area and via our telephone advice line. Provides legal advice and representation on the following issues:

  • Fines and infringements;
  • Identity documents;
  • Early release superannuation; and
  • Magistrates Court criminal matters.

Outcomes

Preventing homelessness

Safe as Houses accepts referrals from support services and agencies that identify women and children affected by family and domestic violence who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

By resolving their complex legal, social and practical issues, we help them avoid homelessness.

Keeping women and children safe

Stable, secure housing, coupled with appropriate legal protections, can provide a degree of safety for women and children affected by family and domestic violence.

Health and wellbeing

Women and children who are in safe, stable housing have better health including mental health, employment and education outcomes and are less likely to end up in the criminal justice system.

>0%
of women experiencing
family and domestic violence
have children in their care

Partner With Us

We need your help to assist women and children affected by family and domestic violence.

Initial funding arrangements via the Criminal Property Confiscation Grants program and Lotterywest, coupled with substantial in-kind support from Tenancy WA and partner agencies, means that we are now in a position to seek foundation corporate partners to assist in establishing and building the program to deliver sustainable services.

Our ultimate aim is that Safe as Houses provides a strong social return on investment that benefits the WA community for many years to come.

Safe as Houses needs strong corporate, business and sector partnerships to be able to prevent homelessness in women and children in WA. We invite you to contact us and discuss how you can be involved in helping us to provide a lasting solution.

Contact us

You are invited to contact us to discuss how you can be involved in helping to prevent homelessness for women and children affected by family and domestic violence:

Carmen Acosta – Executive Manager, Tenancy WA

We would like to gratefully acknowledge our funding partners:

Our Partnerships

As the lead agency in Safe as Houses, Tenancy WA is responsible for all management, financial and contractual responsibilities. We are committed to protecting the fundamental human right to safe, secure and affordable housing through advocacy, advice and education. As the specialist tenancy community legal centre we advise over 4,000 tenants each year with a further 1,000 provided with information and referrals. We also support tenant advocates across WA by providing a central resource unit and lead the agenda for law reforms to improve housing outcomes, especially for people facing disadvantage. Over 130,000 people have accessed our online fact sheets in the last 12 months.

The Women’s Law Centre provides accessible legal services to women facing disadvantage in Western Australia. We are committed to empowering women to make informed legal decisions and achieve fair and just outcomes for a range of legal issues including family law settlements and child protection, violence restraining orders and sexual assault. As well as offering legal advice, support, and referrals to appropriate support services, we also advocate for social change in the interests of women through law and legal policy reform.

Street Law provides free, confidential legal information, advice and casework to the homeless or those at risk of homelessness in WA. Clients can access our services at free legal clinics held at partner agencies around the metropolitan area and via our telephone advice line. We offer advice on a wide range of legal issues which include, fines and infringements, early release superannuation, identity documents, Magistrates Court criminal matters, discrimination, debts, FVRO and care and protection matters.