The Government needs to reveal its revised targets for bringing forward projects to deliver more social and affordable housing to cope with demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shadow Housing Minister, Alison Standen, said the Government needed to act quickly given the need for social housing was only going to increase.
“There was a crisis in housing availability and affordability going into the coronavirus pandemic with an estimated shortfall of demand for social and affordable housing of at least 11,100 dwellings. The need is only going to increase given 20,000 people have now lost their jobs,” Ms Standen said.
“Housing advocates and academics agree that the current COVID-19 environment could be an opportune time to increase investment in social housing as essential infrastructure, while stimulating the economy, creating jobs in construction and relieving housing-related financial stress.
“Unfortunately, the Government has a poor track record of delivering new social housing supply, promising 2,400 new homes over eight years under its Affordable Housing Strategy 2015-2025, but delivering just 585 (25%) of that target at the six year mark.
“In June 2017, it announced a new aged care facility for low income elderly Tasmanians at the Wirksworth site in Bellerive, with construction expected to start in the 2018-19 financial year. Nearly three years later, the need for such a facility has never been higher, but not one brick has been laid.
The Government stalled on its 2015 action plan to develop the Huntingfield estate for social and affordable housing. In early June 2019, the Government used a controversial and divisive fast track process to rezone the land. A community consultation process on a master plan was promised prior to Christmas. The Minister has today announced that after falling into a black hole, the project is expected to resume nearly a year after the (so-called) “fast track” process.
“In the context of the current pandemic, the Government has promised to bring forward projects to deliver more social and affordable housing but today in Parliament, neither the Premier nor the Minister provided any clarity on revised targets.
“I’m calling on the Premier to reveal the revised targets and get on with the job of delivering these commitments.”
Alison Standen MP
Shadow Housing Minister