Domestic violence victims are being forced to stay living in dangerous households because they have nowhere else to go as the rental crisis worsens in Ipswich and Toowoomba.
It’s no secret the rental market is getting tighter with data from Real Estate Institute of Queensland showing the Greater Brisbane vacancy rate sitting at 1.4 per cent in September 2020, making it difficult for families to find adequate rental accommodation.
Median house prices in East Ipswich rose by 44 per cent to $350,000 during the December quarter, while house prises in Ipswich as a whole rose by nearly 30 per cent in 2020.
Domestic Violence Action Centre chief executive Amie Carrington says the tight housing market is having a huge detrimental impact on domestic violence victims who are trying to escape violent households.
The victim support group - which services Greater Ipswich, the Darling Downs and Somerset regions - helped 8,900 victims and survivors last year alone.
Ms Carrington says many women have been applying for rental properties in the local area for months but have been rejected.
“They have been applying for rental properties as part of their plan for safety for themselves and their children.
“And in the meantime, they are required to stay in an unsafe and abusive relationship because they are unable to secure safe housing.”
A lack of affordable housing is making it harder for victims to leave domestic violence households, she adds.
She points out there is a “bottleneck” at local shelters because staff are finding it hard to provide supports for the clients when it comes to securing them long term housing.
“We have seen due to shortages of affordable housing and shortages of refuge placements, women are having to make choices to accept refuge placements that are very far away from their community and schools that their children are attending in order to be safe.”
“It is a real crisis.”
Contact DVAC in Ipswich on 07 3816 3000 or 07 3816 3282, Toowoomba on 07 4642 1354 or 07 4566 2633