Labor's investment in affordable housing for Tasmanians
This Opinion piece appeared in The Advocate, 26 June 2023
A place to call home gives people the foundation to build a good life. But we know that Tasmania has the least affordable rental market in Australia, which means far too many people don’t have secure and affordable housing.
The housing crisis in Tasmania has built up over years. When the Federal Labor Government was elected we said we would end the neglect, and we are delivering.
Just this week I had the great privilege to launch 15 new homes in Devonport, completed in partnership with community housing provider Housing Choices Tasmania (HCT), and assisted by $33 million in funding from the Federal Government.
The Australian Government’s National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation has been able to help HCT develop 181 homes across Braddon through a
$31 million low cost, long-term loan and a grant of $1.92 million.
In addition to the 15 new homes in Devonport, the Federal Government has helped fund 42 homes in Somerset and Shorewell Park, with a further 124 being built across North West Tasmania.
Last week Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also announced a further $50 million for Tasmania to immediately begin boosting affordable housing.
Federal Labor knows that the housing shortage has caused real hardship and needs an immediate response. That’s why this new Federal funding will be paid to the Tasmanian Government within the next two weeks.
Tasmanians want practical solutions that put a roof over the heads of more people without delay. The Tasmanian government will have flexibility in how it uses Federal funding to permanently boost housing availability, including through new builds, expanding existing programs and renovating or refurbishing existing but currently uninhabitable housing.
The Federal Government wants to do even more and has legislation before the parliament to set up a $10 billion Housing Fund. This is the single biggest investment in affordable rental housing by a Federal Government in more than a decade.
The Fund will build 30,000 new rental homes in its first five years - but the Greens and the Federal Liberals have shamefully blocked this important investment.
Labor has an ambitious housing agenda that we have added to at every opportunity. In contrast the Federal Liberals and the Greens need to explain why they are standing in the way of desperately needed homes in Tasmania.