Housing in Tasmania is the most pressing problem facing recently arrived migrants and humanitarian visa-holders, Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania says.
The head of the organisation, Alison O'Neill, will argue this case on Wednesday at a parliamentary committee hearing on housing affordability in the state.
She said secure housing was identified as the biggest problem for migrants in a survey conducted late last year.
Ms O'Neill said there had been greater numbers of humanitarian entrants to Tasmania over the past decade.
She said they were twice as likely as other Australians to report housing stress.
Ms O'Neill said above dealing with problems of an increasingly squeezed affordable housing market, migrants could be unfamiliar with the rent market, as well as their rights and responsibilities, and have little rental history and documentation.
She said some had larger than average families which led to difficulties with finding appropriate accommodation.
"Additionally, the severe lack of single occupancy properties in social housing stock is a serious issue for young unaccompanied clients who are not well suited to shared housing options," Ms O'Neill said.
She said there was a discrepancy between funding for MRCT clients and the cost and waiting times linked to the housing market.
Ms O'Neill said settlement programs assumed a migrant would be in short-term accommodation for four weeks before they were transferred to longer term accommodation.
She said some clients had actually been forced to remain in temporary accommodation for more than 450 days. "The greatest challenges for people looking to move on from temporary housing is faced by young single women and larger families, who cannot simply cannot afford housing appropriate for their circumstances, and despite numerous attempts, do not have their tenancy applications approved," Ms O'Neill said.
In the area of public housing, most migrants are classified as general and not priority housing applicants which meant lengthy wait times, she said.
Ms O'Neill said the state government's affordable housing strategy and action plans did not address housing stress for migrants and refugees.
She said lack of housing in Tasmania caused migrants to transfer to the mainland within 18 months of their arrival.