Adequate housing—defined as both affordable and sound—is a necessity for maintaining good physical and mental health and for participating in social and economic life. Tasmania’s housing affordability has dropped sharply in recent years at the same time that public housing stocks have dwindled, leaving increasing numbers of Tasmanians in housing stress. TasCOSS advocates for investment in public and social housing and for intensified maintenance to bring all existing public and social housing stock to a healthy and affordable condition. We also advocate for measures that encourage the construction and creation of affordable housing options, both public and private, for all ages and levels of ability in convenient, sustainable locations.

Facts and figures

  • Between 2005 and 2011, Tasmanian housing prices increased by 50% -10% more than incomes in the same period.
  • In 2010-2011, only 13.8% of properties sold or built across Tasmania were affordable to a low-income household (within the two lowest income quintiles) and even this figure is too generous for those on the lowest incomes.  
  • Of the 2,677 properties available for private rental throughout the state on 13-14 April 2013, fewer than 10% were affordable for Tasmanians on pensions and fewer than 15% for people working for the minimum wage. 
  • As of 31 December 2013 there were 2,054 applicants on the Housing Tasmania waiting list, with a current average waiting period for Category 1 (high need) applicants of 19 weeks and a 2013-14 target average waiting period for all applicants of 41.5 weeks.  
  • In 2009-2010 (the most recent available figures), 29% of Tasmanian renters were experiencing housing stress—the highest state-wide percentage in Australia—as well as 18% of first home buyers.  
  • Between 2006 and 2011 Tasmanian levels of rough sleeping increased by 27.9%, and the number of people in temporary accommodation more than doubled. In 2011, the rate of unmet demand for short-term or emergency accommodation was approximately 22%, compared to a national average of 19.4%.  


For more information about this policy area, contact Wynne Russell on (03) 6231 0755 or wynne@tascoss.org.au