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New Housing Minister Has Urgent Task

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Tags: Housing, Homelessness, Housing Crisis

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader

The Greens congratulate Roger Jaensch MP on his appointment as Minister for Human Services and Housing.

Mr Jaensch faces the most pressing task of any of the newly sworn in Cabinet members - tackling the housing emergency with substantive steps so people aren't freezing in tents at the Hobart Showgrounds over Winter.

Quality temporary housing is urgently required along with regulation required to stem the rapid growth in short stay accommodation which is taking homes out of the market and driving up rents.

Mr Jaensch needs to work with Housing Tasmania and key stakeholders to secure a site close to Hobart that can be utilised as an interim measure while new affordable homes are constructed.

He should consider steps such as facilitating the purchase of the old Claremont Primary School site to establish a quality, quick build temporary housing village, or the identified public land at Springfield Gardens Primary School for the same purpose.

These interim solutions can in no way be seen to be medium or long term, but they are desperately needed before Winter sets in.

The communique from last week's Housing Summit did not adequately address the need for an emergency response, but that is exactly what is required.

While the Treasurer told the Summit regulation was not on the Liberals' agenda, there is no getting around the impact of short stay accommodation on housing availability and affordability.

Regulation is required to restore balance to the housing rental market.

The Greens trust Mr Jaensch will have the courage to drive real outcomes for Tasmanians who need a home, not next year, but right now.

It is also highly regrettable that the housing emergency can't in any way be dealt with in Parliament until 1 May, almost two months after the election date.