For Anthony Crawford, a home would mean a fresh start.
The 30-year-old has mostly been on the streets for the past three years, and last week joined the waiting list for public housing.
State government figures released on Tuesday revealed there were 2948 people on the waiting list at the end of December, an increase of almost 900 on the previous year.
The figures show that the average waiting time for people with the highest need was 21 weeks, compared with 19 weeks in 2014.
Mr Crawford, who is staying at Orana House at Newnham, said he was not given any estimates on when he could expect to be housed.
‘‘I’ve always wanted a place to call my own,’’ he said.
‘‘It’d just mean the world to me.’’
The report says the introduction of Housing Connect, which streamlined support services and simplified applications, may have encouraged more people to apply for public housing.
But opposition human services spokesman Rebecca White said state government cuts were also to blame.
‘‘The minister cannot deny that this is having an effect on services,’’ she said.
‘‘The fact of the matter is that 900 more people are on waiting lists and it is taking longer to house people.’’
Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma said the previous government had reduced public housing stock by more than 1071 homes, and said she was committed to investing in the sector.
‘‘We are planning to invest $43.9million into building 363 new properties this financial year alone,’’ she said.
‘‘Our Tenancy Guarantee Program will assist a further 100 vulnerable households.’’
Shelter Tas executive officer Pattie Chugg said the figures showed the dire need for the state to invest in affordable housing.
‘‘We know there’s a chronic need for affordable housing for people in the private rental markets and this just shows you how demand is growing,’’ she said.
‘‘What we’re finding is if there’s demand for housing, there is also pressure put on things like disability services and family violence services.
‘‘Housing is the cornerstone.’’
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