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There is a chronic shortage of affordable housing in Victoria, particularly in Melbourne. It is estimated that over 105,000 Australians, including 23,000 Victorians, are homeless. Fortyfour percent of these homeless people are women. Some groups of women appear to be at greater risk of homelessness, including women fleeing family violence, migrants escaping conflict, women exiting the correctional system and older women with little savings.

Women’s Property Initiatives (WPI) was formed in 1996 to address the lack of affordable, appropriate, secure, long-term housing for low-income single women and single mothers. WPI works to build a secure future for disadvantaged women and their children by providing them with long-term, safe, high-quality and affordable homes. The reasons women seek housing with WPI are a complex web of individual causes, however, financial stress and family violence are common causes of housing vulnerability. The homes are made more affordable for women on low incomes, with rents set at no more than 75% of market rent or 30% of household income.

Women’s Property Initiatives commissioned a Social Return on Investment evaluation to understand the value and impact of housing on their tenants. This report provides the results of the Social Return on Investment evaluation that analyses the social value created with the provision of 66 homes to women and their families in a 12-month period over 2014-2015.

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