The State Budget was handed down on the 14th of June, and Shelter Tas welcomes the State Government’s recognition of the housing crisis in Tasmania by bringing forward $25m, and the recommitment of funds for Tasmania’s Affordable Housing Strategy Stage II. Read more…
Shelter Tas welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the discussion of the HCC By-Law on public spaces.
Homeless people are often marginalised within the community and experience barriers to participation in social, recreational, cultural and economic life. People experiencing homelessness may need to use public spaces to sleep, store their personal belongings and gather together. Read more…
Media Release Thursday 14th June 2018
Shelter Tas, Tasmania’s peak body for housing and homelessness services, welcomes the State Government’s recognition of the housing crisis in Tasmania by bringing forward $25m, and the recommitment of funds for Tasmania’s Affordable Housing Strategy Stage II.
“Achieving positive outcomes in areas such as health and education depends on people having safe and secure homes. Investment in affordable housing is essential for Tasmania’s community and economy”, Ms Chugg said.
“Tasmania is confronting a housing crisis, we see it in the media daily, and community concern has never been higher. To solve the problem, we need even more money brought forward and our public housing debt retired”, Ms Chugg said.
The recent Rental Affordability Index showed escalating levels of unaffordable rents across Tasmania, with Hobart topping the list as the least affordable capital in the nation. Over 8,000 low income households are experiencing rental stress, and over 3,500 households are still on the social housing waiting list. The lack of affordable and safe housing is the biggest cause of homelessness, and we know that homelessness is increasing. On any given night over 1,600 Tasmanians have no place to call home.
“We know the solution to homelessness and housing stress is more affordable housing. Tasmania needs to build at least 150 additional affordable rental homes every year above the current Affordable Housing Strategy commitments. Investment in affordable housing is investment in Tasmania’s future”, Ms Chugg said.
Shelter Tas’ budget submission called for increased investment in housing for young people. Young people are the fastest growing group experiencing homelessness. Over half of all people seeking assistance from homelessness services last year were under 25. One in five requests for assistance involve children under 10 years old.
“Shelter Tas welcomes the continuation of funding for the Mums ‘n’ Bubs program run by Karinya Young Women’s Service in Launceston to support young Tasmanian families”, Ms Chugg said.
Older Tasmanians are also an increasing group of people experiencing homelessness – nearly 1 in 5 homeless people are older than 55. We look forward to seeing increasing support for older people through Stage II of Tasmania’s Affordable Housing Strategy.
Repayment of the historic housing debt to the Commonwealth continues to be a drag on the State’s capacity to deliver affordable housing. This year, repayments to the Federal Government have taken over $15 million out of the State’s resources for housing.
“Shelter Tas calls for this burden to be shared across all of government, not just the housing portfolio. Retirement of this historic housing debt would enable much needed capital investment in affordable housing, which we need now more than ever”, Ms Chugg said.
“The housing crisis places ever increasing pressure on workers in the housing and homelessness sector. We will continue to work with the Housing Summit Working Group and Tasmania’s Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan to ensure the specialised housing and homelessness workforce is well placed to meet these increasingly complex needs”, Ms Chugg said.
About Shelter Tasmania:
Shelter Tasmania is the state housing and homelessness peak body, working to ensure that low-income and disadvantaged Tasmanians have affordable, safe, secure and appropriate homes. For more information, please see Shelter Tas’ State Budget Submission 2018-19 and our Priorities for 2018.
For more information and comment, contact:
Shelter Tas, Executive Officer
M: 0419 536 100
With the State Budget to be handed down tomorrow, Shelter Tas calls for housing to be a top priority. Investment in affordable housing is investment in the future for Tasmania, and the opportunity to prioritise affordable housing in this State Budget should not be missed. Read more…
Media statement 13 June 2018
It is time for evidenced based policy decisions about short stay accommodation.
Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS), Shelter Tasmania, the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT) and the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT) have come together to call for adequate data to assess the impact of short stay accommodation in Tasmania.
“In the absence of comprehensive data every decision made is guess work. We need a robust evidence base underlying policy and resourcing responses and time has run out on waiting for it”, said TasCOSS CEO, Kym Goodes.
In light of the Tasmanian Planning Commission recommendations released last week, we (as peak bodies) are calling on the Tasmanian government, AirBnb and Stayz to prioritise providing definitive listing data so we can truly map where there has been a significant shift from the long-term rental market.
“This is needed to resource appropriate policy, service and regulation responses; to minimise the impact on housing affordability and the shape of our communities; and additionally ensure our vibrant tourism based economy is preserved,” said Shelter CEO Patti Chugg.
“Following the State Government announcement earlier this year that an agreement had been reached with Air BnB and Stayz on data sharing, leadership is now required to make sure that data is provided quickly and with sufficient detail to be useful in guiding our responses,” the four Peak Bodies today stated.
LGAT CEO, Dr Katrena Stephenson said it is clear that there is significant non-compliance with the current planning permit requirements, and some considerable confusion likely remains as to what owners must do if they want to use their property for short stay accommodation.
“These four peak bodies call on Airbnb and Stayz to support the State Government through requiring proof of compliance for all their current and prospective listing to ensure they are not promoting illegal accommodation operations,” Dr Stephenson said.
“We also think it is vital that the Government resource an effective education campaign to give all in the Tasmanian community a clear understanding on what the expectations are of owners. While the majority of property owners are allowed to use their premises for short stay accommodation, they must still lodge paperwork with their local council. This is important as it not only ensures they are aware of safety requirements but also gives us vital data that supports decisions about our suburbs and towns more generally”.
Luke Martin, TICT CEO said the need for communications, resourcing and community understanding is critical.
“This is the role of the State Government. It has created the opportunity for short stay to operate and it must now resource data collection and compliance and ensure communication is a priority.”
“It is important that Tasmanians and tourists can all enjoy the benefits of home sharing businesses like Airbnb and Stayz. Short stay accommodation is an integral part of Tasmania’s tourism successes,” said Mr Martin.
Ultimately, it is the case that some Tasmanians have been displaced as a result of short stay accommodation. We must understand where that has occurred and what the impact is in order to prioritise the building of new houses and ensure the Affordable Housing Strategy is targeting the right communities and the right types of homes,” said TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes.
Shelter, LGAT, TasCOSS and the TICT are not seeking to stop Tasmanians from home sharing but rather ensuring the best policies and regulations are put in place to protect our state and complement the opportunity short stay provides.
For more information Zara Gudnason, TasCOSS, 0421 250 777