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Empty Homes Levy Needed

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 21 February 2023

Tags: Housing, Housing Crisis

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The rental crisis continues to deepen as both the Liberal Government and Labor Opposition sit on their hands.

They both know there are immediate steps that can be taken to ease the crisis and return more homes to the rental market.  Why are they refusing to act to stem the suffering?

The Tasmanian Greens were today proud to jointly launch a new Parliamentary Petition with the Tasmanian University Students Association, calling for the introduction of an empty homes levy.

In Tasmania, it’s now nearly impossible for most young people to find somewhere secure and affordable to live - especially when they’re moving out of home for the first time to pursue study or work opportunities.

Figures recently released by the Tenants Union of Tasmania show there are 2,700 empty homes in Hobart, Glenorchy, and Launceston alone. If just a small percentage of these homes were encouraged back to the rental market, it would make a huge difference to rental availability and prices.

With thousands of homes sitting empty around the state, it’s no wonder a dozen community service organisations and now the Tasmanian University Students Association have called for a levy to be introduced to encourage owners to bring these properties back into the rental market.

This is common sense policy that’s working in places like Vancouver, France, Ireland, Scotland and Melbourne.

Long term fixes to the rental crisis are absolutely needed, but these solutions are many years away from making a difference in people’s lives. Measures like an empty homes levy, limits on short stay rentals, and putting a stop to massive rent hikes are crucial to deliver urgent relief to those struggling in the rental market.

The Liberal Government and Labor Opposition should start listening to the tens of thousands of Tasmanians in rental stress, and take immediate action.

At the very least they should consider an empty homes levy with an open mind. 

Sign the petition here: