Housing affordability continues to be a major issue facing Tasmanians, a recent report by the University of Tasmania has found.
The report showed that in March, there were 4006 applicants on the Tasmanian Housing Register in addition to 12,502 requests to specialist homelessness services between 2019-2020 that were unmet.
The report concluded: "Tasmania needs a community-wide conversation about the aims and priorities of housing policy, and innovative strategies and policies which could be developed and adopted by governments, industry, investors, service providers and the community to deliver better housing outcomes".
The call for innovation was echoed by St Vincent de Paul Tasmania chief executive Lara Alexander who said the system was struggling to meet demand.
"We are constantly hearing from people who are experiencing housing pressure," she said.
"It is the underlying reason people have been contacting us for the last 10, 12 months."
Despite the state government's commitment to providing 3500 new homes over the next four years, Ms Alexander believed that the crisis required an innovative solution and suggested Tasmania look overseas for inspiration.
"The current model requires a lot of land in addition to proximity to services in urban areas and public transport," she said.
"I have been told by builders that they could start construction today but they just need the land."
Ms Alexander said that internationally, apartment complexes had proven successful in populous areas and would require a smaller footprint.
"Is the current model a good model, or is this actually holding us back from building more and putting a stock of affordable housing out there more quickly?" Ms Alexander said.
Strike it Out founder Kirsten Ritchie also believes that key stakeholders needed to consider alternative solutions to tackle the issue of housing pressure and homelessness.
"It's a never ending problem," she said.
"Houses aren't being built fast enough and emergency housing is full."
In an attempt to provide an alternative solution, Strike it Out is raising money to build sleep pods in Tasmania.
"It's another ten beds and if it helps take ten people off the street to have a sleep and have a shower and a hot meal then it's worth a shot," she said.
"We'll trial it and if it works, if the model works, let's build more."
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