Government responds to housing crisis in Tasmania

An housing affordability summit, to be held next week, will seek to find immediate solutions to the housing crisis in the state.

Successive reports on housing and rental affordability over the past few years have pointed to rapidly increases in housing costs, far above wage growth.

These reports have led to continued calls from the social services sector for the government to address short, medium and long-term challenges.

The Liberals, Labor and the Greens each announced substantial housing affordability packages for the next term of government during the recent election campaign.

TasCOSS chief executive Kym Goodes said these announcements were medium to long term policy approaches and investment.  

“The current crisis demonstrates the need for predictive modelling and a deeper understanding of the unmet demand in the market,” she said.

She said the summit provided an opportunity to find localised solutions for those hit hardest by the crisis.

Shelter Tas executive officer Pattie Chugg said the housing problem had been seen coming for some while.

“It is time that we plan more strategically in Tasmania to integrate our population and tourism growth strategies with our housing strategy and land use planning system,” she said.

Ms Chugg said there needed to be joint venture housing opportunities between the private and community sectors, better regulation around short-stay accommodation, and improved tenancy legislation.

The government will invite to the summit peak social service bodies as well as housing, building and construction, property and real estate representatives.

It will also extend the invitation to local government, university, and non-government sectors.

Premier Will Hodgman said it was recognised immediate action was needed to address the housing crisis.

“We will work together with the experts to identify the best, immediate solution,” he said.