‘Thanks to the generosity and support from Mid-Western Regional Council and the continued collaborative work with Housing Plus, we have added one additional property to the program, this property is a two-bedroom unit that is leased out on a three monthly basis.’

An extra property has been made available to individuals and families escaping domestic violence and homelessness in Mudgee following a $65,000 funding increase from Mid-Western Regional Council.

Council raised its contribution for crisis accommodation from $20,000 to $85,000 last budget, allowing partners Barnardos Mudgee and Housing Plus to add a two-bedroom unit to its portfolio of five crisis and short-stay properties.

In a report to council, Barnardos Mudgee said the last financial quarter had been “extremely busy” particularly for its Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS).

“As at March 31, the SHS had supported 185 families and individuals from a contracted 92 clients, this puts the program at 201 per cent of contract with three months remaining,” the report said.

“During this time, thanks to the generosity and support from Mid-Western Regional Council and the continued collaborative work with Housing Plus, we have added one additional property to the program, this property is a two-bedroom unit that is leased out on a three monthly basis.”

Barnardos said the properties are allocated on a case-by-case basis with the most vulnerable people prioritised.

“The crisis property has been utilised for short term accommodation for families and individuals who are experiencing a crisis situation, prior to having access to this type of service Barnardos would have needed to use motel accommodation for this purpose,” the report said.

“This property continues to be highly utilised by a broad range of venerable community members who are at risk.”

In a further report to council Housing Plus senior manager of engagement and communities Andrew Pansini said domestic violence is a prevalent issue in the Mid-Western Region with 127 incidents reported to police in the 12 months to June 2015.

"The region is 1.3 times the NSW state average and ranks 42nd of 154 LGAs for domestic assault,” Mr Pansini said.

(This article was first published in the Mudgee Guardian and Gulgong Advertiser and was written by By Elle Watson.)