Tasmania's Tenants Union seeks details on new pilot housing program

The Tasmanian Tenants Union is seeking details on the government’s plan to offer subsidies to landlords to rent their properties to low income earners.

Union senior solicitor Ben Bartl said on Wednesday he had written to the email address provided by the government to try to get clarification on the pilot program.

“We can’t comment on the program because we have no details,” Mr Bartl said.

“We don’t know the eligibility criteria for tenants or what the rents will be.”

Labor housing spokesman Josh Willie said Mr Jaensch had failed to work out details of the program.

He said prospective landlords who were advised to seek details of the Minister’s scheme by email were being advised that no details were in fact available.

“This is an extraordinary admission by Mr Jaensch and the Liberals that they have announced a scheme when in fact no scheme exists,” Mr Willie said.

“It’s also a glaring admission that the Liberals and the new Housing Minister have no idea how to address the housing affordability and homelessness crisis other than to panic and deceptively make things up.

Housing Minister Roger Jaensch said that the pilot program had already attracted interest from across the state.

“Broadly supported by Shelter Tasmania, Community Housing Providers, REIT and Housing Connect, the initiative, in just 24 hours has received almost 50 emails from property owners registering their interest,” Mr Jaensch said.

“The Department will be responsible to consider property applications and approve those that will be included in the program, however the incentive initiative is designed to target properties that are not currently available to low income earners in the private rental market.”

“Due to the high level of interest, the State Government will be able to hit the ground running, placing tenants into eligible properties once the program commences in May.”

The program, offers up to $13,000 to landlords for affordable rentals.