Dorset municipality needs more public housing says councillors

The state government must act to expand social housing in the North East according to two Dorset Council representatives. 

Councillor Dale Jessup and deputy mayor Max Hall both said the area does not have enough social housing options in the wake of the council’s decision to rescind 1 gifted vacant lots that were to be used in a CatholicCare social housing project.

The council decided to reverse its original decision to gift 10 vacant lots at Beattie Street to CatholicCare after uproar from a large portion of the Scottsdale community.

Cr Jessup said more public housing was needed in Scottsdale, despite the council’s decision.

“From the information that CatholicCare provided to the council, there is a waiting list for public housing, especially the older living public housing availability for Dorset,” he said.

“It appears that [the state government] are trying to do something with public housing in Tasmania, but I think that between state government and council there’s probably some more work to do to provide public housing in the region. 

“It’s certainly not our responsibility, it’s state government’s responsibility, but i believe that if there is anything that council could do to assist in the facilitation of more available public housing it’s certainly something we should look at.”

Government figures from earlier this year showed that the public housing waiting list had ballooned to 4000 people – a 1000 person increase from a year earlier.

Cr Hall said there’s “no doubt” the municipality needs more public housing. 

“We are trying to make a couple of blocks available for social housing at some point down the track, but I don’t think ratepayers can fund public housing,” he said.

A government spokesperson said the government is committed to expanding social housing services.

“Everyone deserves to have a roof over their head which is why we have developed Tasmania’s first Affordable Housing Action Plan,” she said.

“The Hodgman Government is committed to providing affordable housing, with our plan to deliver affordable housing options for 1600 Tasmanian households over four years.”