Homelessness Week 2– Housing ends homelessness

Michael Ferguson,Minister for State Development, Construction and Housing

Homelessness Week is one week a year that asks all of us to recognise the need to reduce and eliminate homelessness.

This year’s theme is ‘Housing ends homelessness’.

Tasmanians can be assured that the Government is taking serious action on homelessness with a record investment of $615 million into social and affordable housing, and homelessness initiatives.

This includes a $280 million commitment to more social housing for Tasmanians in need and the State’s largest building program of new social housing for decades.

This means that around 3500 additional households will have a new home by 2027.

We have a massive pipeline of initiatives that will help vulnerable Tasmanians find and keep housing and have a good life.

Today I am very pleased to announce that Beardwood Pty Ltd have been selected as the preferred contractor for construction contracts valued over $11 million for two homelessness facilities.

Subject to usual contract negotiations they will construct 15 additional units at Launceston Women’s Shelter and 23 units for a new Burnie youth shelter.

Another eight units for women and children escaping family violence will be built with Safe Places funding.

We are increasing capacity to help young people with more crisis and transitional beds including:

  • a second, 26-bed supported accommodation facility in Hobart;
  • a 26-bed supported accommodation facility in Burnie;
  • an additional 20 beds at Thyne House; and,
  • a new, eight bed, youth at risk centre for children 12-15 years of age.

We are filling the gap in services for men who are homeless including those with full or shared custody on the north west coast, by building a dedicated men’s shelter.

We are also focusing attention on older people at risk of homelessness with a new supported accommodation model in partnership with Wintringham Housing.

Housing Connect is the first point of contact for accommodation, support and financial assistance options for all Tasmanians at risk of homelessness.

We are working closely with homelessness services to make sure Housing Connect continues to improve assistance to people who need help.

Tasmanians will get better access to housing assistance, help to develop strong connections to family and community and the support to build their capabilities for independent living with improvements underway.

Housing assistance will be shaped to fit the unique circumstances and life stage of each person who needs support.

We are investing in our homelessness services with improved tools and training for staff.

If you are at risk of homelessness please contact Housing Connect, 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 800 588.

Homelessness Week, 2 – 8 August 2021, ‘Housing ends homelessness’.

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