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Tasmanian housing falls further into crisis

More and more Tasmanians are becoming homeless as the state’s housing crisis deepens amid ongoing Liberal government inaction.

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services shows that during the 2021-22 financial year, 28 per cent of people who were identified by support services as being at risk of homelessness nevertheless ended up becoming homeless – the worst of any state or territory and eight percentage points above the national average.

Of those experiencing homelessness in that period, one in three were homeless for more than seven months over a two-year period – up from 22 per cent from 2018–19.

The average number of daily ‘unassisted requests’ was nearly a fifth of the national total, despite Tasmania having one fiftieth of the population, and one in three people in need of assistance to sustain their existing housing tenure were neither supported nor referred elsewhere.

This shows that people are simply being left behind by this government as resources are stretched beyond coping.

Shockingly, the data also shows that in the past decade, the number of community and public housing dwellings has increased by less than 400.

This is a shocking failure by this Liberal government that has failed on housing for their whole time in office. Meanwhile the population has increased by around 60,000 over the same period.

By comparison, in the last term of the last Labor government, over 2200 new social and government dwellings were built.

To make matters worse, there were 215 “untenantable” public housing properties – leaving people high and dry even though the government could be working to fix this immediately.

The Housing Minister Guy Barnett bragged last year that the government would build 1,169 homes in 2022-23, but instead has delivered just 142 in the first six months of the year.

The data also reveals that, in the middle of a housing crisis, the Liberals actually spent $7 million less on housing in 2021-22 than the previous year.

Minister Barnett continues to claim the government is on track to deliver 10,000 homes by 2032 when the evidence consistently shows otherwise and he has repeatedly failed to deliver anywhere close to the number required so far to achieve that.

Mr Barnett is trying to take Tasmanians for mugs but he is fooling no-one – the Premier Jeremy Rockliff needs to step up and make sure Guy Barnett starts delivering, or find someone who can.

Original media release from January 24, 2023

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