The Premier Will Hodgman today convened an urgent summit to address Tasmania’s housing shortage.
Representatives from 34 peak bodies and key stakeholders engaged in constructive discussions to develop practical actions to provide immediate assistance to Tasmanians in need.
The Deputy Secretary of Treasury Anton Voss and Chief Executive of Housing and Disability Reform Peter White delivered presentations outlining the current private and social housing situation.
Discussions focussed on defining the problems facing Tasmanians, identifying solutions and prioritising actions to assist Tasmanians to find an affordable home.
Attendees acknowledged that this is a complex issue with a number of causes, particularly Tasmania’s population growth and subsequent pressures on housing availability and affordability.
A number of solutions were identified for consideration including Government purchasing housing stock for transitional housing, bringing forward the Affordable Housing Strategy, increasing the number of apprentices on building projects, collecting and releasing more data on housing and a residential planning review.
A number of solutions were broadly endorsed for action as the first steps, with the overarching intent of increasing the supply of social and affordable housing, as well as increasing the affordable rental stock.
• Land Release: The Tasmanian Government has identified 239 hectares of government owned land that is potentially suitable for residential development. We will work with the private and community housing sectors to release land packages, unlocking up to 3,000 new homes.
• Land-release fast-track legislation: We will introduce enabling legislation in the autumn session of Parliament to fast track the required zoning changes for the identified surplus government land and accelerate supply of affordable housing.
• Building code compliance survey: The government will conduct a survey of local governments and building surveyors to ensure that the new building code is being utilised to its maximum extent to facilitate new building developments.
• State-wide planning scheme introduction: We will work closely with local governments to finalise the implementation of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme as quickly as possible and bring forward the review of the residential planning provisions (PD4.1).
• Land Tax Rebate: The Tasmanian Government will invest up to $300,000 to provide a 100 per cent land tax rebate to property owners as an incentive to immediately list up to 500 existing properties for long-term rent in Greater Hobart.
• Housing Tasmania Stock Match: Housing Tasmania will undertake a voluntary, incentivised program to better match tenants and properties. There is an estimated 95 four bedroom houses occupied by only one to three residents, while families of four are on waiting lists.
• Planning Awareness Campaign: We will immediately begin work on a campaign to inform Tasmanians about a number of changes to Tasmania’s planning scheme, which now make it easier to create new housing options including infill developments, shop-top homes and streamlined approvals for new houses.
• Data Sharing Partnerships: Agree to a data sharing partnership between the Government and Airbnb and Expedia/Stayz, to inform policy and improve transparency in the rapidly changing sharing economy. This would include regular updates on facts including host locations, guest nights and host income.
• Rental Vacancy Data: Treasury will undertake research and consult with relevant peak bodies, stakeholders and NGOs to better understand trends in Hobart’s rental market, including rental cost trends, to determine what data is available, any gaps and how data can best be used to inform policy, peak bodies and stakeholders.
The Tasmanian Government gratefully acknowledges the contribution of all attendees. The summit provided an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration on an important issue facing Tasmanians.