2018 Tasmanian budget: housing package disappoints social sector

Peak social and housing bodies have reacted angrily to the state budget, observing there is no new money for affordable housing other than a previously announced extra $25 million for the government's Affordable Housing Strategy.

The stategy will receive $45 million over next financial year and $125 million over the forward estimates.

The strategy's second phase is expected to provide 1500 more affordable homes and assist 2000 households.

Of the $125 million over five years, $20 million will be set aside for housing for people living with disability.

TASMANIAN BUDGET

The budget shows a $4.3 million boost for housing services funding with $136.3 million allocated.

TasCOSS chief executive Kym Goodes (pictured) said it was a missed opportunity for the government to re-balance investment and rebuild for the next generation.

Kym Goodes

Kym Goodes

"When you have a $161 million surplus and people are sleeping rough, it will be hard to understand why it is a good budget,” she said.

​"We need to leave a legacy and this budget does not leave a legacy."

Shelter Tas executive officer Pattie Chugg said Tasmania needed to build at least 150 additional affordable rental homes every year above the current Affordable Housing Strategy commitments.

“To solve the problem, we need even more money brought forward and our public housing debt retired,” she said.

Increased funding for child protection will flow relatively evenly across the forward estimates, the 2018-19 state budget has revealed.

In other areas of the human services porfolio, there was the $24 million boost to the state's child protection budget was announced prior to the budget’s release.

Measures included as part of the renewed commitment to child protection include: an extension of the out-of-home care age limit to 21; additional support for the out-of-home services; and increased learning incentives for people in out-of-home care.

The money will flow relatively evenly across the forward estimates, with $6 million forecast to be spent on additional support for out-of-home care services each year to 2022.