Image for Tasmania takes the lead in affordable housing

Shelter Tasmania, the State’s peak body for housing and homelessness welcomes today’s release of the Tasmanian Affordable Housing Strategy and the Action Plan 2015-2019. “Affordable housing is fundamental to a healthy and productive community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and contribute”, Shelter Tas Executive Officer, Pattie Chugg said.

Shelter Tas congratulates the State Government on making affordable housing and homelessness a top priority. “It has been an extensive consultative process, involving stakeholders from throughout the business and community sector. Continued consultation and working together will be essential for the all-important implementation of the Action Plan,” Ms Chugg said.

“We are pleased to see a long term vision to improve housing affordability and address homelessness, and a proposed increase of 941 new affordable homes. The Plan responds to identified need in the Tasmanian community. Options for accommodation and support for youth, who make up 25% of Tasmania’s homeless population are especially welcome. Evidence and experience show that stable housing provides the necessary base for education and economic participation,” Ms Chugg said.

Shelter Tas and our members have advocated that new supply of affordable housing is essential to meet current shortfall of appropriate affordable housing. “With 2759 people on the waiting list for social housing, a significant increase since last year, additional resources to increase the supply of affordable housing are needed urgently,” Ms Chugg said.

The Action Plan includes 19 initiatives to kickstart additional affordable homes, and support those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. “Now we have the Action Plan, we welcome its implementation and look forward to seeing the positive difference it makes in the lives of many Tasmanians,” Ms Chugg said. “With so many new initiatives, we and our members will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the Strategy achieves its results.”

• The following may be used as direct quotes from TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes regarding the State Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy ...

• We value the Strategy’s acknowledgement that affordable housing is a vital component of ensuring Tasmanians are able to grow, learn and prosper in our State. 

• As we know, affordable housing facilitates social, economic and civic participation for individuals

• More specifically, TasCOSS welcomes the focus of this strategy on early intervention and a holistic approach across the sector.  It focuses on all layers of need within the community including those in crisis and also those who are in need of long term, supported accommodation.

• We also welcome the Strategy’s recognition of the need for intervention across public, community and private housing.

• We looking forward to further detail regarding land releases and how these may work to meet the needs of low income buyers and renters.  This highlights the need for a State Planning mechanism that stimulates the construction of affordable housing. 

• We are really pleased to see the innovative approaches such as the Youth Futures Castles – a great example of Tasmanian innovation – included in this strategy. 

• Overall, we look forward to an emphasis on participation becoming the paradigm at the basis of all Government policy and planning.