Hotels Provide Rooms for Domestic Violence Survivors During Covid-19


Hotel operators have been quick to sign up and access $35 million from state governments by offering temporary accommodation for families trying to escape domestic violence during Covid-19.

A register for hotels to provide rooms was launched in New South Wales on 17 April in response to the pandemic by an industry partnership from Homelessness NSW, YFoundations and Domestic Violence NSW.

As part of the $14.3 million state initiative, women and families seeking support would get five to 30 days accommodation at one of the registered hotels.

The hotel industry was hit hard by the the Covid-19 with hotels closing and tourist bookings plummeting with travel restrictions.

However some hotels were filling the drop in bookings by providing self-isolation for quarantined arrivals, rough sleepers, front-line health workers as well as those escaping family violence.

DVNSW project coordinator Renata Field said they were overwhelmed by the response from hotel operators with hundreds of rooms becoming available to families in need.

“Obviously there's not as much business [for hotel operators] and they are generally concerned about vulnerable people during Covid-19 and want to reach out and provide options,” Field said.

“This additional accommodation coming online now will help relieve pressure points across the system in the response to women escaping domestic violence.

“As well as helping refuges and shelters that need additional accommodation to meet state health requirements for social distancing and self-isolation.”

Field said while many services had moved online the resources and vacancies had provided intensive levels of wrap-around support.

Attorney general Mark Speakman said survivors could be confident that support services and the NSW Police Force were prepared and ready to respond if they need help.

“As citizens cooperate with social distancing directions, self-isolation and quarantine, there is an associated risk that domestic and family violence will increase,” the minister for the prevention of domestic violence said.

“Victims have a right to live a life free from violence every single day. When it’s safe to do so, I urge them to contact our hard working frontline services for support.”

A $14.3 million investment will help increase the supply and flexibility of temporary accommodation across NSW, including accommodation suitable for self-isolation.

The state government also has made a $20 million commitment to help people secure stable housing in the private rental market.

In Victoria $10.4 million was on offer to help more women and children escaping family violence get access to safe accommodation and related support.

While in Queensland $1.7 million has been allocated to address crisis accommodation needs specifically for people dealing with family violence as well as a $24.7 million Covid-19 housing and homelessness response package.

The NSW crisis accommodation register is open here.

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