The effects of the waiving of Tasmania's historic Commonwealth housing debt should start to flow in the coming 12 months, but the priority housing waiting list continued to significantly miss the government's target.
The 2020-21 budget detailed how the government planned to allocate part of the $157 million from the Commonwealth agreeing to waive the debt, as a result of negotiations with senator Jacqui Lambie.
But the budget still painted a grim picture of the reality facing those facing housing stress and homelessness in Tasmania.
The government set a target of 36 weeks for the average priority housing waiting time, but for 2019-20 the reality was 63.6 weeks.
It also missed its target of having 3200 Tasmanians receive assistance through the private rental assistance program, with only 2153 accessing the scheme.
There was some good news - the target of having 3400 Tasmanians on the housing priority register was achieved.
Historic housing debt waiver: how it will be spent
The housing debt waiver was a significant win for Tasmania, and has added $58.4 million to a program of housing works through to 2023.
It resulted in an additional $10 million for the government's construction blitz to fast-track some of these projects, grant funding for community housing providers to increase housing supply and further direct funding into the construction and purchase of new housing by Housing Tasmania.
What you need to know about the state budget:
The funding from the debt waiver will also assist in $6.5 million worth of land acquisition and affordable housing projects.
The budget included a $37 million increase compared with previous forecasts for new housing projects in 2020-21, using $21.5 million from the Commonwealth debt waiver. An additional $24 million was forecast for 2021-22.
Work continuing in adding more affordable housing for Tasmania
There was a marginal increase in "housing services" over the forward estimates, with a total spend of $142.2 million for 2020-21 largely following forecasts. This will remain around the same rate for the forward estimates.
The government allocated $35 million for 2020-21 as part of the second stage of its Affordable Housing Action Plan to be followed by $25 million and $5 million in the following years - also following previous forecasts with no additional funding added.
In its first year, 2019-20, the action plan resulted in 316 new social housing units, 43 units of homeless accommodation and 34 new affordable lots of land.
The government assisted 69 households into first-time home ownership through the scheme and 200 through Rapid Rehousing and the Private Rental Incentive Scheme.
There are 150 more affordable housing constructions under way, and 300 under negotiation.
The expressions of interest process is under way for the Community Housing Growth Program - part of the government's "construction blitz".
But there was no funding allocated for this in 2020-21, with a government spokesperson saying the EOI process would continue this financial year. There was $30 million forecast for the program in 2021-22, and $35 million in 2022-23.
Additional homelessness services ahead
While affordable housing construction is largely continuing as planned for the government - with a spike from the Commonwealth debt waiver - there was additional funding provided for services for homelessness and at-risk Tasmanians.
The Safe Space program will become 24-hours in Launceston, Burnie and Hobart with $16.8 million. The program will be able to run through to June 2022 to provide general health and mental health support for the homeless.
Other projects included $5 million for a Launceston Youth at Risk Centre including operating costs, $4 million to expand Magnolia House and $5 million to expand Thyne House into a youth foyer model.
Other commitments include $15 million for public housing heating and energy efficiency initiatives. This involves replacing direct electric and gas heating with heat pumps.