National Shelter media release — 21 November 2012
National housing peak National Shelter is calling for the state and federal governments to commit to affordable housing solutions in Tasmania, at a roundtable to be held in Hobart tomorrow, 22 November 2012.
The roundtable, convening to discuss the future of the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA), aims to hear the different perspectives of government and non-government experts.
18,000 Tasmanian households are in housing stress. For people on low incomes renting privately on pensions and allowances, the figures are concerning — with 58% in Hobart and 52% statewide living in unaffordable housing.
National Shelter Chairperson, Adrian Pisarski, says these figures are unacceptable and a major contributor to the cost of living pressures on people across Tasmania.
‘Tasmanians are experiencing a housing affordability crisis, with those struggling to pay housing costs at risk of financial hardship and poverty.’
'It is integral that state and federal governments work together to address this crisis, and reduce the amount of housing pressure currently being experienced in the state.’
The latest ABS data shows that the rate of homelessness has increased in Tasmania from 27.5 persons per 10,000 in 2001, to 31.9 in 2011.
‘Tasmania experiences the highest proportions of homeless persons staying temporarily with other households (hidden homelessness), having improvised dwellings, and that are sleeping out’, Mr Pisarski said.
‘This week we will be encouraging all sides of politics to agree to address Tasmania’s housing challenges with solutions to reduce housing pressure and homelessness.
‘This includes the continued investment in affordable housing programs such as the National Rental Affordable Scheme (NRAS) and the growth fund for social housing.’
Shelter Tasmania’s Executive Officer, Pattie Chugg, commends the Tasmanian Government on its delivery of 1400 new affordable homes since 2009 and its recommitment to continue the National Partnership on Homelessness for the next year.
‘With the recent census data showing an 38.1% increase in homelessness in Tasmania, the biggest increase of any state or territory we need to find ways to get more housing built and delivered to those who need it most and prevent homelessness.’