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$60M Housing Giveaway Remains Unjustified

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 9 June 2016

Tags: Housing, Privatisation

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Human Services spokesperson

In Budget Estimates today, the Human Services Minister failed to provide any evidence that giving away up to 500 Housing Tasmania homes will increase the supply of affordable housing or represents a good deal for taxpayers.

The Greens have long been concerned about the Liberal Government handing over the Title to Housing Tasmania properties. These are public assets and they are effectively being given away for a song on an untested reform.

By the Minister's own conservative estimation these properties are worth $60M, and their replacement value about double that. Yet they are being handed to the community housing sector to use as security for loans from banks.

Of course we want to see the supply of social and affordable housing increased in Tasmania, that was a huge focus of our time in government, but this asset giveaway is unjustified and not backed by sufficient evidence.

Once these publicly funded and maintained homes are handed over, the State won't get them back and there are too few guarantees in this 'reform' that they will remain as social housing.

The Minister maintains it's just a trial, but she introduced changes to the Homes Act to make sure the asset giveaway can continue in the future.

Unfortunately, it seems like 500 homes is just the beginning.