A housing master plan is needed to ensure that the North and North-West do not experience the same issues the South is grappling with, the state’s peak social services body says.
Hobart is in the midst of a housing crisis, with some people living in tents in the northern suburbs.
The pressure on the housing market has been exacerbated by such factors as the tourism boom and the rise of short-stay accommodation, population growth and a lack of housing supply relative to demand.
Premier Will Hodgman convened an urgent housing summit in March, mere days after his government was re-elected for a second term.
Among the nine proposed solutions to the state’s housing woes to come out of the summit was the freeing up of 239 hectares of Crown Land for residential development.
Since first coming to office in 2014, the Hodgman government has invested $73.5 million into housing, with a further $125 million to be invested over the course of its second term.
The government says these additional funds are expected to provide 1500 new affordable homes, as well as assist roughly 2000 existing households.
Tasmanian Council of Social Services chief executive Kym Goodes said Tasmanian housing issues, including in the North and North-West, centred on both availability and affordability of suitable housing.
Ms Goodes said that the North and North-West were “not immune” to the factors which led to the housing crisis in the South.
“In the North and North-West of Tasmania, where wages are lower, availability of permanent full-time jobs are less and household incomes are some of the lowest in the state and the country,” she said.
Ms Goodes pointed to structural factors, at a state and national level, that were impacting on housing affordability, such as stagnation in the minimum wage.
The TasCOSS chief executive said a housing master plan would be an “important step” for the state, not least for how it would equip the North and North-West to deal with future housing stress.
Housing Minister Roger Jaensch said the housing “challenge” was a state-wide issue.
Mr Jaensch said 78 two-bedroom units would become available across Tasmania before June 30, including properties in Greater Launceston and a 25-unit youth accommodation facility in Devonport.