A multi-million dollar investment into social housing in Warrnambool is being praised by the city's peak domestic violence body which says the situation facing dozens of women on a wait list is 'completely dire'.
Emma House chief executive officer Cindee Richardson welcomed Wednesday's state government announcement eight townhouses would be built at 60 Hopetoun Road for women, including those fleeing domestic abuse.
"It's fantastic news," Ms Richardson said.
"It's a start, anything is a start - we need a lot more, but this is an appreciated effort. It's really significant and important we have sustainable and affordable housing."
She said the exact number of clients on the service's housing wait list was unknown but each year dozens of women were waiting.
"It's completely dire," Ms Richardson said.
"Women often return to violent environments because becoming homeless they certainly become at risk of losing their children.
"We end up often bringing them up in hotel rooms. We support them as long as we can, but the exit strategy to permanent housing is a two-to-four year wait list."
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Ms Richardson said the lack of available housing in the region was a major issue.
"Women often leave the region," she said.
"Options are being explored, they often don't stay in the area because there's no affordable housing."
Ms Richardson said she hoped the houses would be built with a range of security features.
"For our clients, we actually can fit out houses so they're safe, we can provide proper locks, cameras, lights," she said.
"We'd like to see motion lights, cameras, alarm systems - they're all things we're hoping will be included."
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