News, media releases

National Homelessness Week highlights Tasmania’s housing crisis

  • End of Homelessness Week but not end of the issue
  • Housing crisis occurring long before the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Government lacks a long-term plan

Labor is calling on the government to take urgent action to fix the state’s growing housing crisis, highlighted during National Homelessness Week.

Shadow Minister for Housing Alison Standen said as the state’s housing crisis continues to grow, the government needs to commit to long-term plans to flatten the curve of homelessness.

“It’s not as if this crisis has appeared out of nowhere – the 2016 Census showed that on any given night in Tasmania more than 1600 people were homeless.

“Here we are, four winters later, and the problem is getting worse instead of better, with new data from peak body Shelter Tasmania suggesting that the true number of Tasmanians experiencing homelessness could have more than doubled since the 2016 Census.”

“Worryingly, new analysis shows that at least half of the state’s homeless people live in regional and rural areas – but the government’s main focus appears to be on major cities like Hobart and Launceston.

“Roger Jaensch has a blueprint in front of him to greatly improve social and affordable housing in Tasmania – the 61 recommendations from the House of Assembly Select Committee on Housing Affordability.

“The government has offered short-term solutions, such as funding the Safe Space initiative until the end of the year, but nothing to address systemic issues.

“The Liberals have delivered an ad hoc, piecemeal approach to housing and homelessness when what is needed is a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan with targets and KPIs that measure success through decreases in the waiting list.

“The government must take meaningful action to flatten the homelessness curve and give all Tasmanians the dignity, safety and comfort of a roof over their heads.”

Alison Standen
Shadow Minister for Housing

Alison Standen was a participant in today’s podcast recording “People’s Panel Podcast On Homelessness”.