Housing and Human Services

Housing is a basic human right.

Access to stable, safe and affordable housing is a vital first step towards personal health and wellbeing. Having a home is not just about having a roof over your head, it’s essential to everything we value in life – the foundation that provides a base on which to build, or rebuild, our lives.

What will Labor do?

It’s time to explore new and innovative opportunities for getting people housed, and keeping them housed.

Key policy elements:

Working for Tasmanians to Address the Housing Crisis

Tasmania is in the grip of a housing crisis that was caused by the policy decisions of Peter Gutwein and the Liberal Government.

There are now nearly 4,000 Tasmanian families on the waiting list for social housing, an increase of 75% under the Liberals. Even the highest priority cases wait for more than a year, about three times longer than in 2014.

On any given night, 1,600 Tasmanians are homeless. At the same time, rents have gone up nearly 40% in the past five years, putting countless Tasmanians under more and more pressure. Peter Gutwein has said he doesn’t think rents are too high. The dream of home ownership is getting further and further out of reach for young Tasmanians and renters.

Only Labor has a plan to address this unprecedented crisis.

3,500 new social houses – Labor believes that safe and secure housing is a basic human right. Labor’s social housing package is one of the biggest commitments ever to support vulnerable Tasmanian families. A majority Labor Government will build an additional 2,000 new social houses over the next six years, in addition to what is already funded in the budget. That means that 3,500 new homes will be built under a majority Labor Government. Our policy will slash the housing waiting list and create more than 1,700 jobs in construction.

Support for Tasmanians to buy their first home – Under the Liberals, owning a house is out of reach for too many Tasmanians. Young people and renters have to save an average of $80,000 for a deposit for their first home, which can be nearly impossible. Labor’s 5% deposit scheme will cut this to just $20,000. This will cut years off the time it takes young people and renters to save for their first home and put home ownership back within reach for thousands of Tasmanians. A majority Labor Government will also expand eligibility for the HomeShare Program to get even more people into home ownership.

Making renting more affordable – Labor is committed to reducing the cost of living for tenants and doing so in a way that is fair to everyone. A majority Labor Government will cut land tax for 99.5% of taxpayers to place downward pressure on rental costs. Labor will expand the Affordable Rental Scheme by 50 properties to help ensure every family has a secure and affordable home. Labor will place sensible limits on any new Airbnb properties in the areas where there are simply not enough rental properties available.

$40 million in housing support for those most in need – You only need to walk through one of Tasmania’s cities to see that too many people are falling between the cracks of a broken system. It never used to be like this, and it doesn’t have to be. A majority Labor Government will employ additional case workers to assist people who are homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless. A majority Labor Government will also invest nearly $40 million to build and fund supported and emergency accommodation services including:

  • $6 million for disability accommodation.
  • $6 million for children and young people exiting from out of home care in the north and north-west.
  • $9 million to reduce the risk of young people becoming homeless.
  • $7.6 million to build and operate a men’s shelter in the north-west.
  • $6 million to expand rapid re-housing.
  • $5 million for transition independent living units for drug and alcohol and mental health patients.

$17.5 million to improve social housing – Labor believes that Tasmanians deserve to live in safe, healthy and warm houses. A majority Labor Government will immediately invest $17.5 million to begin to address the large maintenance backlog in Tasmania’s social housing properties. As well as general maintenance, the program will deliver heat pumps for homes where older Tasmanians live and pay for energy efficiency upgrades, resulting in savings for tenants every year. The program will provide a massive shot in the arm for businesses and workers in our building and construction industries and will create 150 jobs.

$42.15 million to develop the Hobart Showgrounds – The Hobart Showgrounds Renewal Project presents a great opportunity to help address the housing crisis. It will provide 500 new homes, including affordable housing and community areas, a new exhibition venue and improved recreational spaces. It will also create hundreds of jobs during the construction phase. A majority Labor Government will commit

$42.15 million to this project.

Find out how Rebecca White & the Labor Team are Working for Tasmanians.