Amidst an acute shortage of housing options for women and children exiting refuges after escaping domestic violence, one of Australia's leading developers LendLease and Swedish furniture giant IKEA are teaming up to build and furnish a new transitional home in Queensland.
The state of domestic violence in Australia is appalling with one woman killed every week on average by their partner or former partner, while one in four over the age of 15 has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former intimate partner.
It is a breed of violence that is not just one-off but unabating, reinforced by ongoing emotional abuse. To escape the cycle, women and children face two-high-risk transition points: when they leave a violent partner to access accommodation such as a refuge; and when they leave a refuge to settle into independent housing.
As an act of corporate social responsibility, Lendlease has donated $100,000 in funding and IKEA has pledged $25,000 worth of furniture to a project led by national charity yourtown - a new four-bedroom home that will provide safe and secure accommodation for these vulnerable people.
The home will be constructed by yourtown's social enterprise initiative, which provides training and employment to young job seekers at risk of long-term unemployment and supports them in gaining a certificate in construction. As many as 10 young people will work on the delivery of the project.
IKEA will deliver items to assist with the build of the property, such as cupboards, bathrooms and in-built items in late June. A second delivery will consist of furniture and house-hold items and is estimated for August.
"The development of this home is a wonderful example of how community coming together can be part of the solution," says yourtown CEO Tracy Adams.
"Each family who find their way to this home, will know that they are not alone, that their safety and the safety of their children is something that really matters, and that the aspirations they have can be realised."
Lendlease CEO for property Kylie Rampa says supporting initiatives like yourtown's transitional housing is the very reason it launched the shared value initiative FutureSteps.
"Family and domestic violence affects too many women in Australia, so being able to provide a safe place for women and children is of paramount importance. The project will directly support them as they are getting back on their feet for many years to come," says Rampa.
"We know how important life at home is, particularly for those experiencing hardship, so we're on a mission to create a better everyday life for people all over the world. We're committed to making a positive impact in the communities we're present in," adds IKEA Australia sustainability business partner Bhumika Selot.
"We're proud to be supporting yourtown's new transitional home, and hope that in working with yourtown, our product donation will enable women and children find a place they can call home."
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