A NSW Government website

Safer crisis accommodation for women and children escaping domestic violence

Frequently asked questions

What is the Domestic Violence Crisis Accommodation Functional Design Brief?

We’ve created the brief to give project teams information about our preferred approach to building crisis accommodation, known as the ‘core and cluster’ model.

What is core and cluster?

Core and Cluster crisis accommodation typically consists of a network or cluster of separate residences or units, linked to a core communal area for on-site support.

The cluster units are usually self-contained, with bedroom, kitchen, laundrette, bathroom and living facilities.

This approach gives women and children privacy while also providing access to comprehensive support services.

Why is the core and cluster model being proposed?

Core and cluster crisis accommodation is more flexible, allowing residents a degree of privacy while also ensuring they can access support. Giving women access to a self-contained kitchenette while also providing a larger communal kitchen, for example, means they can interact when they’d like to but can also have private times when needed. This kind of flexibility is particularly important when small children are involved.

Am I required to build core and cluster for all new crisis accommodation?

The core and cluster model is not mandated under current planning legislation. However, the NSW Government strongly endorses its use in conjunction with a site-specific project brief.

Any crisis accommodation project that receives NSW Government funding will be expected to adopt the model where possible.

Can the functional design brief be used to inform modifications to existing crisis accommodation?

Yes, the brief and its design principles can be applied to new construction or alterations to existing crisis accommodation.

Can the functional design brief be applied to non-government projects?

Yes, the brief can be applied to any crisis accommodation project targeting women and children.

How should the functional design brief be used?

The brief can be used to help with site selection and design. Once a site is selected, the functional design brief should be used in conjunction with a site-specific project brief that considers and includes (where possible) the recommendations of the core and cluster model but also considers any site-specific limitations such as site size and topography.

Who was consulted to prepare the functional design brief?

Engagement sessions were held with peak bodies, community housing providers and specialist homelessness providers as well as organisations representing culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people with disability.

Where can I view the full feedback received from the engagement sessions?

Read or download feedback from the engagement sessions (PDF, 149.87 KB).

I have some feedback, where can I send it?

We welcome suggestions for improvement. Submit any feedback via our Contact us page.

I am experiencing homelessness due to domestic violence. Where do I go?

Call the Domestic Violence Line (24 hours) on 1800 65 64 63.

A trained female staff member will help you find a safe place and refer you to local support services such as health or legal services.

Alternatively, call Link2home (24 hours) on 1800 152 152. You can ask for information or a referral to specialist homelessness services that support women and children escaping domestic violence.