Where Have We Been?
WHL was formerly known as the State-wide Women’s Community Housing Service (SWCHS). SWCHS was born out of the Community Housing Restructure within the Office of Housing in the Department of Human Services in July 1997.
A large number of women’s and young women’s housing support services felt that there was a strong need to continue with the provision of gender specific housing services and to build on the experience which had developed within women’s housing since its inception over twenty years ago. The Office of Housing agreed to the initial funding of this vital service.
Founding members were:
- Young Women’s Housing Shopfront
- Safe Place for Women
- Flat Out
- Young Women’s Project
- Cambodian, Lao & Vietnamese Young Women’s Accommodation
- Council of Single Mothers and their Children
- Counterpoint Young Women’s Refuge
- YWCA of Dandenong & Westernport
- Women’s Housing Outreach Support Service
- At Last Young Women’s Refuge
SWCHS was created primarily to harness and expand on the existing expertise and knowledge of community based gender specific transitional housing providers. WHL will as part of its future development continue to expand the range of accommodation options for women of all ages to compliment its transitional housing response, which was the core business of SWCHS. SWCHS originally provided:
The provision of transitional accommodation for homeless and at risk women across Victoria;
- The provision of an integrated state-wide housing information and referral network for women, single mothers and young women;
- The development and management of gender specific transitional community housing.
At the time of establishment, the Department estimated the number of properties anywhere between 45-60; with a commitment to further expansion over the following two years.
In 2002 SWCHS changed its name to Women’s Housing Ltd in order to be more accessible and in order to make us easier to find i.e. under ‘women’ in the telephone book.
In July 2007, Women’s Housing Ltd was registered as a Housing Provider with the Office of the Housing Registrar.
In June 2018 Women’s Housing Ltd was registered as a Housing Association.
“Becoming a Housing Association presents a wonderful opportunity for Women’s Housing Ltd and our clients. As a Housing Association, Women’s Housing Ltd will have the capacity and resources to be able to provide more specialist housing for women and children. For women in need, it’s about providing housing security and also a pathway out of disadvantage.” Judy Line, CEO Women’s Housing Ltd