The Liberal government must take more decisive measures to deal with Tasmania’s housing crisis and get all Tasmanians into adequate shelter.
Shadow Housing Minister Alison Standen said the government must start by more tightly regulating the short-stay (visitor) accommodation sector.
“As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, we need to prioritise housing security for Tasmanians to help get people back into work,” Ms Standen said.
“Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package, which will form the basis of Labor’s submission to the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council, is designed to get Tasmanians back into jobs, help those hardest hit by the pandemic and create a better, fairer and more resilient economy and society.
“Tasmania’s housing crisis prior to COVID-19 is well known, with a growing problem with both affordability and availability of rental properties.
“Pre-pandemic, Hobart was reported as being the most unaffordable capital city for renting, and more than 8,000 low-income households around Tasmania were experiencing rental stress and a growing waiting list for social housing.
“That problem has not gone away and it requires urgent action as we start to come out of this crisis.
“Anecdotal evidence shows that, when the shutdown was imposed, a number of properties were taken off short-stay and listed for private rental.
“The government needs to act now to ensure these properties remain in the long-term private rental market, particularly in those areas where there is strong demand, but rentals remain unaffordable.
“The House of Assembly Select Committee on Housing Affordability, recommended that the government freeze the number of short-stay accommodation permits that can be issued for entire dwellings in areas of high demand for rental housing until market conditions ease.
“I call on the government to adopt this and the other 60 recommendations from the inquiry, which effectively provide a blueprint to address the housing crisis. The government must also release the latest data on permits, covering the three months to March, which was due at the end of April.
“We want to get Tasmania back on track and build for the future. That means taking everyone along on our recovery. The government must not let this opportunity to address Tasmania’s ongoing housing crisis pass it by.”
Alison Standen MP
Shadow Housing Minister