Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson
The Tasmanian Greens today released the first pillar in our plan for Tasmania’s recovery from COVID-19.
In preparing this plan for a housing led recovery we’ve drawn on the evidence of Australia’s response to the GFC which demonstrated that investing government stimulus funds into housing construction delivers the best ‘bang for buck’ for recovery.
Well before COVID-19, too many Tasmanians were left out in the cold, languishing on the housing wait list, paying skyrocketing rents or sleeping rough. We need to make sure we don’t walk out of the coronavirus crisis straight back into the housing and homelessness crisis.
Our plan for a housing led recovery would deliver 2,000 new affordable, energy efficient homes, build three new youth accommodation facilities, and establish a Rent To Buy program to help more low income Tasmanians to own their first home.
Critically, it would also provide much-needed support for local building and construction jobs and the state’s economy.
The Housing Industry Association has warned of a 40% decline in residential construction due to coronavirus, resulting in the loss of up to 7,000 jobs. As a State where thousands of job have already been lost, we can’t afford to let that happen.
Building more homes is essential to addressing the supply problem that has plagued Tasmania’s housing market for far too long. It will also support thousands of Tasmanian jobs, and kickstart the economy.
Establishing a public Rent To Buy program would help break the inequality cycle by giving everyday Tasmanians the chance to own their first home - without having to worry about saving for a deposit or negotiating with a greedy big bank.
New youth accommodation facilities are crucial to ensure young Tasmanians who are experiencing hardship have a safe, supportive place to go.
Tasmania’s long road to recovery from the coronavirus crisis presents us with a once in a lifetime to reshape our society to be better and fairer.
This is a chance for a fresh start for housing.