Northern Tasmania’s housing crisis is “quickly catching up” to the South, according to City Mission chief executive Stephen Brown.
On Saturday, the state government announced $500,000 to support immediate emergency accommodation options in the greater Hobart area.
The government also announced 127 new accommodation options to be made progressively available between April and June 30, including a 25-unit youth facility in Devonport.
Housing Minister Roger Jaensch said the funding was aimed at “getting people out of tents and into rooms”.
“We will rely on our department and our housing connect partners, who have a real time knowledge of where the need is greatest and where the solutions need to be,” he said.
“We don’t want to limit the number of people we are talking about.
“There is a very broad spectrum of people who are finding themselves in housing stress at the moment.”
Saturday’s announcement comes on the back of a housing summit held earlier this month.
There, the government outlined a number of plans to address the state’s rental shortage, including freeing up 239 hectares of government-owned land suitable for residential development.
A land tax rebate to incentivise property owners to list up to 500 existing properties for rent has also been launched.
Mr Brown said rising rental prices was something being felt across the state, with City Mission’s Newnham men’s shelter Orana House turning away about 100 clients a month.
“We are quickly catching up to what we are seeing in Hobart,” he said.
“I think we need to be really innovative in the way that we address this issue.
“Early intervention is a vital part of that.
Mr Brown said there were already issues in the North and North-West.
“But perhaps it isn’t yet as visible as what we are seeing in the likes of Hobart.
“Whether the issues here need to be made more visible, maybe we need to lobby more.
“I don’t have all the answers, but whatever support is given to the South is likely to have a flow-on affect for the North.
Mr Jaensch said the latest funding announcement would go toward providing a mix of cabin, hotel and motel-style accommodation, and was aimed at providing “immediate relief” ahead of winter.