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Liberals Must Act on Soaring Rents

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Tags: Rent Caps, Housing, Housing Crisis

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

Newly released data demonstrates once more the urgent need for the Rockliff Government to stop toadying to property investors and developers, and to instead protect renters from soaring rents and unfair eviction.

The latest figures confirm Hobart is the least affordable capital city in the nation.  They highlight how the gap between income and rent has widened over the past five years, and continues to increase. Meanwhile, rents are also rising rapidly in regional parts of the state.

Year after year we are seeing rents skyrocket around the state, and hearing more heartbreaking stories of Tasmanians forced into hardship and homelessness. Yet the Liberal Government has done nothing to protect renters from this terrible situation.  They seem too busy being the political arm of the propertied class.

Having plans to build more houses is essential, of course, but most of the government’s planned build is many years away. In the meantime, tens of thousands of tenants are left vulnerable to massive, unreasonable rent increases and unfair eviction.

We need to take immediate steps to help renters, including reforms to control short stay accommodation, reining in rent increases, and a ban on no-cause evictions.

Any government that truly understood the day-to-day hardship facing Tasmanian renters, compounded as it is by the rising cost of living, would be putting every option on the table to make tenants’ lives even a little easier.

Instead the Liberals have given wealthy property investors two tax cuts in two years, and happily handed out tens of thousands in public money to support a landlord lobby group who campaigned for them at the last election.

Worse still, the Liberals’ plans for an wasteful third stadium won’t just pull funds away from essential services – it is also likely to pull construction workers away from where they are needed most, putting a further brake on building much-needed new homes.