The government will hold three regional roundtable discussions as they move into the second stage of their affordable housing plan.
Housing Minister Roger Jaensch announced the meetings on Friday morning with Peter White, deputy secretary of Housing, Disability and Community Services.
The discussions will be held with key state-wide stakeholders in Hobart, Launceston, and Devonport.
About 100 participants from within the community sector, local government, and the building and construction industries will be involved.
The discussions come four years into the government’s ten year Affordable Housing Action Plan.
Stage two of the plan is slated to provide an additional 1500 affordable homes, and assistance to around 2000 households.
The total government investment in stage two is expected to be $125 million, taking the total investment to $200 million over eight years.
Though stage one of that plan was on track to supply 941 new affordable lots and homes, Mr Jaensch said the government was still very much in their consultation process.
“We don’t have all the answers just yet, that’s why we’re doing this.”
He acknowledged that though the biggest stresses were being felt in Hobart, the rest of the state was also feeling the housing pinch.
“We do know that there has been a particular growth in the population and demand in the greater Hobart area and that’s where some of the housing stress is most acute.
“But we also know there are people in Launceston and on the North-West Coast who are in housing stress.
“And we know that that stress for them feels the same no matter where they are and we need to be dealing with those issues right across Tasmania.”
The government’s action plan focused on all of Tasmania, all demographics, and all areas of need, Mr Jaensch said, though added some cohorts needed specific attention.
Mr White said young people and those on Newstart finding it difficult to keep private rental accomodation were one of the key target groups.
“Just under 30 per cent of our housing register and waiting list are people under the age of 25.”
Affordable housing that was accessible, well-located, and energy efficient for people with disabilities and older residents was another, he added.
Concerns about housing affordability in the North have previously been expressed by Tasmanian Council of Social Services chief executive Kym Goodes.
In April, Ms Goodes said that the North and North-West were “not immune” to the factors which led to housing pressure in the South, suggesting a housing master plan would be an “important step” for the state.
“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.
Structural factors like stagnation in the minimum wage were pointed to by Ms Goodes as impacting on housing affordability.
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