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Housing Debt Relief Warmly Welcomed But Big Supply Challenges Remain

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Sunday, 8 September 2019

Tags: Housing, Homelessness

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson

The historic Commonwealth State Housing debt has been an albatross around the neck of Housing Tasmania for decades.

The debt relief secured by Senator Lambie will make a real difference to Tasmanians desperate for a secure, affordable home.

It’s important, however, not to view this debt relief as the panacea for housing supply.

$15 million a year extra going in to supply will deliver 60-80 new homes.

The current Housing wait list has around 3,400 Tasmanians in need of affordable housing. Homelessness is on the rise.

In evidence presented to the current inquiry in to housing affordability, it is projected 14,200 homes will need to be built over the next two decades to meet current and future demand.

The inquiry also heard short stay accommodation listings continue to rise, taking more homes out of the private rental market. Regulation of the short stay market is clearly required.

At the same time, rents are soaring to unaffordable levels, pushing more Tasmanians in to acute housing stress and homelessness.

Meanwhile, the Liberals are pushing an aggressive population growth target with no plan to meet the needs of new arrivals sustainably and strategically.

Lifting the housing debt is hugely positive, but Minister Jaensch must know there’s a lot more funding required and work to do to tackle the housing crisis.