The Greens say their proposal for the government to build 10,000 new public and social houses in Tasmania over the next 15 years could help to stave off recession, boost apprenticeships and cut the housing waiting list.
Greens leader Adam Bandt is in Tasmania this week on the first stop of his "Green New Deal listening tour", where he is spruiking the housing plan as Australia faces the prospect of recession.
Their policy involves using available government land near services to build sustainable housing, rather than broadacre, and Mr Bandt claimed it could be achieved without fast-tracking planning approval processes because people would recognise the need for more public housing.
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Tasmania has 3444 people on the public housing waiting list, waiting an average of 61 weeks.
Mr Bandt said successive government policy failures had created this "backlog".
"A good start would be looking at where government has existing land that's near services, and saying is government making the best use of the land, and could it build more housing on it?" he said.
"it's about thinking creatively about where there's existing land that's not being used well, but that could instead be turned into housing for people that in turn benefits everyone by driving down rents."
When asked if Tasmania had the workforce to carry out this level of construction, Mr Bandt said it would encourage more apprentices into the construction industry.
"One of the key parts of our announcement is to have a ratio of one apprentice for every 10 people working on the job," he said.
"It's a staged plan over 15 years that means that someone could start as an apprentice on one of these projects, but by the time this build is finished in 15 years time could be a fully qualified tradesperson and living in one of the houses that they built."
The federal government last year wiped Tasmania's $157.6 million housing debt on the condition that it was used to increase social housing.
Bass Liberal MHR Bridget Archer said adding housing stock was a multi-faceted challenge.
"The Government is currently finalising all the parts that will form part of the stimulus package," she said.
"The ability to build housing is not as simple as wishing it were so - there are complex challenges including proper planning and identifying available and suitable land.
"The federal government is also providing record funding of over $160 million to the state over the next few years under the Housing and Homelessness Agreement."
The Tasmanian government last week announced the transfer of 2000 Housing Tasmanian to community housing providers, allowing access to $6 million through rent assistance per year to be used on additional housing stock.