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Core and Cluster

On 19 October 2021, the NSW Government announced historic investment of $484.3 million, for housing and specialist supports for women and children experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV).

This is the single biggest investment in addressing DFV in the State’s history.

The funding will provide $426.6 million over four years to expand Core and Cluster to deliver and operate around 75 extra women’s refuges that will support up to an additional 2,900 women and children escaping DFV, each year.

The funding package also includes:

  • $52.5 million over four years towards the Community Housing Innovation Fund (CHIF) partnership with the community housing sector, to provide approximately 200 social and affordable homes for women experiencing DFV.
  • $5.2 million over four years for a trial in two areas, one site in regional NSW and one in Greater Sydney, to provide dedicated supports for up to 3,200 accompanied children and young people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, with a focus on those impacted by DFV.

This investment is on top of an additional $60 million over the next two years to boost frontline DFV services and an additional $32.5 million over four years, for the expansion of Staying Home Leaving Violence to support more women and children experiencing domestic violence to stay safe and secure in their homes. In addition, the Commonwealth Government has committed $80 million over two years under the 2021-2023 Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence National Partnership Agreement.

What is Core and Cluster?

Core and Cluster is an innovative model that allows for independent living and privacy while also providing access to supports. Under the Core and Cluster model, self-contained accommodation is located next to a ‘core’, which provides access to services such as counselling, legal assistance, education and employment support. The sites may contain meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment for court appearances, communal kitchens, and playgrounds.

This new investment will expand Core and Cluster across NSW. The locations of these new refuges will be targeted to areas where there is high unmet demand for crisis accommodation, including regional and rural areas. Construction of the new refuges will commence in 2022 and will continue over four years, up to 2025-26.

The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) will employ a range of different delivery approaches including use of government and non-government owned land, and working with Community Housing Providers, specialist homelessness services and other organisations to deliver the refuges.

Suitability for companion animals will be part of the design considerations of each of the new Core and Cluster refuges.

Next steps

DCJ will consult on service models, potential delivery partners, and locations of greatest need and opportunity, with the DFV, Housing and Homelessness sectors. Consultations will include engagement with Aboriginal community-controlled organisations, to assist in determining appropriate locations for refuges across different NSW communities, as well as delivery approaches for both construction and operation of the refuges.

We encourage you to monitor the NSW e-tendering site, where future funding opportunities may be published.

More information

Landmark investment to help more women and children fleeing domestic violence – 19 October 2021 Media Release

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Last updated: 25 Nov 2021