The Minority Liberal Government’s housing and homelessness crisis talks today must result in action for Tasmanians at risk of homelessness.
Shadow Housing Minister Alison Standen said Tasmanians were sick of talkfests and wanted some real outcomes from today’s meeting that would be put in place immediately.
“Labor always stands ready to put forward constructive ideas but it is a fact that we were only invited to participate at the 11th hour as the Liberals scrambled to avoid Parliament sitting an extra day,” Ms Standen said.
“In our Budget Reply Labor repeated the calls we made last year for the Government to act swiftly before the onset of winter and house Tasmanians without shelter.
“We again call on the Government to seek expressions of interest from local government and private dwelling owners to urgently secure tenure of disused buildings and accommodation and repurpose them for Tasmania’s homeless.
“Labor has championed inclusionary zoning, opening up housing on Hobart’s Northern Suburbs Railway corridor and have asked for a tri-partisan approach as far back as 2017.
“Tasmania’s winter will be over before Tasmania’s Parliament sits again. People are demanding tangible and immediate action today.
“In addition, Labor successfully moved to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into housing and homelessness which together with the inquiry into home sharing that is soon to report in the Upper House, will provide recommendations to Government for action that will help more people into affordable housing in the medium to long term.
“Five years ago the Liberals inherited a record low wait time for public housing of 20 weeks; the current average waiting time to be housed has almost tripled to 56 weeks.
“The waitlist has also tripled to over 3,200 applicants, and the Government’s own target is projected to increase to 3,400 over the coming years.
“On any given night 1,600 Tasmanians are homeless and many other families are couch surfing, relying on their friends and families or living in sheds, cars or tents.
“The Minister has refused to commit to targets or a work program for the coming year, despite bringing forward $10 million in funding for 2019-20. It is not clear whether there will be increased investment in social housing and homelessness support services to meet the unprecedented demand.”
Alison Standen MP
Shadow Minister for Housing