Tasmanians without a safe, secure roof over their head deserve transparency

Revelations in yesterday’s Legislative Council Inquiry into Homes Tasmania that the Tasmanian Government is being less than transparent with their 10,000 social and affordable homes by 2032 target will be disheartening news to Tasmanians currently experiencing severe housing stress.

TasCOSS CEO, Ms Adrienne Picone, said the counting of vacant blocks and crisis and transitional accommodation towards the target is not in keeping with community expectations.

“In 2022, when the Government announced their target, the expectation from the community was, and remains, the provision of safe, secure roofs over people’s head, not an empty block of land or a few nights in a crisis shelter,” Ms Picone said.

“TasCOSS has previously publicly expressed concern about the lack of detail regarding the target in the strategy and action plan, with the Government yet to provide a comprehensive breakdown of the proportion of the 10,000 target that will be social housing.”

“The combination of high housing costs and low stock is continuing to be a thorn in the side of Tasmanians simply tying to get, or keep, their foot in the door.

“With the level of need rising, the Government has an obligation to work hand in hand with community housing providers and key stakeholders to find appropriate solutions to increase supply in a timely manner.”

Ms Picone said while building new homes remains the priority, until that supply comes online there is more the Government could do in the short- to medium-term to alleviate pressure in the rental market and provide more security of tenure for tenants. 

“If it is indeed the case that 10,000 new roofs won’t be available to live in by 2032, the Government needs a urgent rethink to its 20 year Housing Strategy and Action Plan,” she said.

“Low vacancy rates puts upward pressure on rents, further adding to cost of living pressures for Tasmanians. To improve supply of private rental accommodation, we call on the Government to put an end to whole-homes leaving the private rental market for short-stay accommodation, at least in areas of especially short supply.

“We also call on the Government to bring forward a comprehensive review of the Residential Tenancy Act to ensure it is fit-for-purpose in a housing market characterised by ongoing short supply and more Tasmanians staying in the private rental market for the long-term, if not permanently.”