Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Housing spokesperson
The SafeSpace program has provided homeless Tasmanians a safe place to sleep at YouthARC in Hobart since 2019. Regrettably, program organisers may be forced to decrease the number of sleeping spaces available each night due to their lease expiring.
SafeSpace say the commercial real estate boom and their financial limitations are impacting their ability to find a new location.
In the midst of a housing crisis and a pandemic, the Gutwein Government can play a key role in preventing hardship. It should be working with Hobart City Council to give homeless people a safe place to sleep. We urge the Gutwein Government to step in as a matter of urgency.
Under the Liberals in government, the public housing waiting list has ballooned, rents are soaring, and more people are being pushed towards homelessness. The least the Housing Minister and Premier can do is support services for rough sleepers.
The expiry of the COVID rental protections on 1 February has already seen many tenants slapped with massive rent increases. SafeSpace organisers are warning that rent hikes, coupled with the JobKeeper and JobSeeker cuts next month, will lead to more people turning to them for help.
With just weeks until the their lease expires, and colder nights looming, Premier Gutwein and Minister Jaensch need to act now. They must support SafeSpace to ensure Tasmanians sleeping rough have a safe, warm, and secure place to spend the night.