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Social housing limitations leave Tasmanians in distress

The endless wait for suitable social housing continues to cause distress for thousands of Tasmanians, with no end in sight after 10 years of Liberal government.

Earlier this year, Rebecca White and I met with one of those Tasmanians, Lorraine McGovern, who was struggling to access her government-managed house after suffering a number of strokes which have affected her mobility.

Six months on, Ms McGovern is effectively housebound without support, because there has been no progress with her desperate efforts to get a transfer to a home that suits her mobility needs.

Just yesterday, the National Rental Affordability Index placed Hobart as the least affordable place to rent across Australia, painting a dire picture of housing stress.

Ms McGovern needs a transfer to a home which suits her mobility needs and has applied for a transfer with letters of support from her GP, the hospital and her psychiatrist.

But Housing Connect has been unable to give her any idea of when, if ever, she can expect to be approved for a transfer.

As well as struggling to get into and out of her own home, Ms McGovern has been living in fear of anti-social behaviour around where she lives and rarely leaves her home as a result.

Lorraine is just one of thousands of Tasmanians suffering as a result of 10 years of Liberal government inaction, with the waitlist for social housing hitting a new record high month after month, and the rolling 12-month average to house priority applicants the longest it’s ever been.

In contrast, Labor will take the action needed to provide the housing Tasmanians need.

Under our Build to Rent program, at least 1,000 additional private rental homes will enter the market within the first five years of a Labor government and stay in the private rental market for 30 years. This is on top of the 10,000 social and government homes by 2032.

Labor will also make more houses immediately available by repairing government houses that remain untenantable and are sitting empty and we will drive the market for more new houses by expanding the MyHome scheme to get more people into home ownership.

November 15 2023

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