Tassie government pledges millions to build more housing for state’s most vulnerable
Wednesday, 4th March 2020 at 3:37 pm
The investment boost comes after Hobart was recently crowned the least affordable Australian capital
A $22 million Tasmanian government injection into social housing supply will help reverse a decline in affordable homes across the state, housing advocates say.
Tasmanian housing minister Roger Jaensch announced the funding boost on Tuesday, which will be invested into community housing grants over the next three years to build 220 new homes for people on the housing register.
The government also said it would transfer the management of 2,000 Housing Tasmania-owned properties, giving community housing providers an extra $6 million in Commonwealth Rent Assistance revenue each year.
This announcement has been welcomed by Shelter Tas CEO Pattie Chugg, who said the proposal puts funds made available by the waiver of the state’s Commonwealth housing debt to good use.
Shelter Tas also welcomed the government’s extension of its agreement with community housing providers to 2040.
“This injection of $22 million is a much needed boost to social housing supply, meaning more housing that stays affordable in the long term for Tasmanians in need,” Chugg said.
“The lack of affordable housing is the number one cause of homelessness in the state. These new properties will enable people to access a safe and affordable home sooner.”
Affordable housing has been declining in Tasmania over the past few years, and Hobart was recently crowned the least affordable Australian capital.
Chugg said the increasing gap between income and housing costs now made rent unaffordable for half of all rental households, with even people on moderate and average incomes struggling in the private rental market.
And with 8,000 Tasmanian households already in housing stress, Chugg said Shelter Tas wanted to eventually see 10 per cent of all dwellings in Tasmania either social or affordable housing.
“With our members, we look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Tasmanian government on increasing the supply of social housing as a permanent asset that will stay affordable for tenants in the long run,” she said.