There is a critical need for more affordable housing in Tasmania, the state’s peak body for housing and homelessness service says.
The calls come after a sixth house fire in two years in a Rocherlea Street on Wednesday.
Shelter Tasmania chief executive Pattie Chugg said the issue needed to be addressed.
“With over 3000 people on the social housing waiting list we need to build more social housing to meet the demand,” she said. “Many Tasmanians are experiencing rental and mortgage stress and there is an undersupply of affordable private rentals for people on low incomes across the state.”
Tasmania Police is continuing to investigate the latest Cupania Street house fire.
“This is the second occasion these premises were targeted in the past three weeks,” police said.
“Police are following a particular line of inquiry in relation to the current investigation and would like to speak to three youths who were seen running from Cupania Street, shortly after the fire.”
With over 3000 people on the social housing waiting list we need to build more social housing.Pattie Chugg
In the past year, police said three people have been charged with arson in relation to two fires on Cupania Street.
Labor housing spokesman Josh Willie said there is a housing crisis in Tasmania.
“Many Tasmanians [are] being forced to live in tents, garages or couch surf with friends and family,” he said.
“It is incumbent the government meet the needs of Tasmanians, to get people into housing as soon as possible and ensure homes are not left vacant to become the target of arsonists.”
Housing Minister Roger Jaensch said arsons are reckless.
“It is extremely disappointing when houses for Tasmanians in need are the subject of arson attacks,” he said.
“These reckless actions not only endanger the lives of residents, neighbours and responders, they also reduce the number of properties available and divert resources from building new ones.”
Mr Jaensch said the state government was working with authorities to reduce the instances of these crimes and the impact on those who need access to affordable housing.