Homeless Tasmanians sleeping in their cars, couch surfing or living in overcrowded premises are unable to practice social distancing and are at greater risk of severe harm from coronavirus, Shelter Tasmania says.
The organisation is calling for solutions to ensure that all Tasmanians have access to a safe and secure home, including adequate bathrooms and separate spaces for self-isolation.
Office buildings would not be appropriate, however vacant hotels and Airbnbs - increasingly being offered for temporary accommodation - could be part of the solution, Shelter Tasmania chief executive officer Pattie Chugg said.
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She said secure housing for all was "paramount" during this health crisis.
"Ultimately, investing in homes for all Tasmanians is an investment in community wellbeing and health," Ms Chugg said.
"Successful management of the COVID-19 emergency depends on everyone having a safe and secure home, where they can self-isolate if needed, to protect both individual and community health.
"We know that people experiencing homelessness already face an increased burden of ill-health, so they will have worse outcomes if they contract the coronavirus.
"This means that as well as their own suffering, there will be increased pressure on the health system to support them when they become unwell."
In the 2016 Census, 1600 Tasmanians described themselves as homeless, but just 8 per cent of those were sleeping rough. The remainder were living in "insecure, temporary, overcrowded and unsafe places", Shelter Tasmania found.
Last week, the Tasmanian Government announced it would provide $5 million for food hampers, medical supplies and counselling for vulnerable people, including an additional $1 million for emergency accommodation.
This also included $700,000 for Neighbourhood Houses and $1 million for the No Interest Loan Scheme.
A further $2.7 million was for rapid rehousing in family violence situations, increased services and one-off packages, along with a $2.5 million child safety package.