Tasmanians are sacrificing food and power to meet “sky rocketing” rental prices, according to City Mission.
City Mission chief executive officer Stephen Brown welcomed the government’s announcement to hold an urgent house summit in Hobart next week, in response to the state’s looming housing crisis.
“Housing affordability in Tasmania is reaching a crisis point with rising private rental costs and a shortage of public housing options,” he said.
“In the North of the state, there has been a 49 per cent decline in advertised properties over the last five years.
“Around 40 per cent of our family services clients report they have been or are impacted by rental stress.
“We are seeing the flow on effect of this with more and more people seeking assistance with food and utility payments.”
City Mission has seen an upward trend in the number of people being turned away from Oarana House, which provides crisis and long-term accommodation for men.
Mr Brown said insecure tenure arrangements and unsafe housing conditions were adding further burdens for people already struggling with financial and emotional hardship.
“We really need to work together as a state to find a solution to this crisis, to ensure that every Tasmanian has access to safe, secure and long-term affordable housing,” he said.
The summit will include experts from key sectors across the state.
Premier Will Hodgman said the Liberals had several policies to address the problem, including building 1500 new affordable homes.