16 Aug 2016

Emergency housing fund for abusive family members

6:21 pm on 16 August 2016

Short-term emergency housing for abusive family members, designed to get them away from their victims, will be funded by the government.

29062016 Photo RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King. Amy Adams, Minister of Justice.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said a shortage of accommodation could see abusers returning home. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King;

The government will provide $500,000 over two years to fund the housing.

The money, included in the 2016 Budget, will provide housing in Christchurch and Waikato, where a new integrated safety response pilot is being tested.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the dedicated emergency housing places would be used when perpetrators were required to stay away from the family home for a short period, but had nowhere else to stay.

"A shortage of such accommodation can lead to them returning home, sometimes leading to further family violence incidents," she said.

Ms Adams said this housing would be used alongside police safety orders, when the person under such an order had nowhere else to go.

The orders gave authorities the power to remove a suspected perpetrator of family violence and require that the perpetrator stay away from the family home for up to five days.

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said evidence suggested removing the perpetrators, rather than the victims, could help prevent homelessness for those victims and create less disruption in their lives.

"The trauma of family violence is horrific, but can be compounded by further upheaval for victims, with big disruptions to housing, jobs and schooling, as well as community connections and support networks."