Tasmania Calls For More Social Housing This National Homelessness Week

Shelter Tasmania is using National Homelessness Week to call for more social housing and rent caps in the state.

Homelessness rates in Tasmania is the fourth highest across the country according to the 2021 Census, from having the lowest numbers in 2016.

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Shelter Tasmania chief executive Pattie Chugg told the Mercury too many Tasmanians were facing the reality of homelessness.

“The Housing Ends Homelessness theme [for Homelessness Week] amplifies the Shelter Tas message that to end the homelessness crisis, Tasmania needs to build more affordable homes for people to rent where they can be secure and safe,” Ms Chugg said.

“Shelter Tas calls for affordable rentals like social housing to be increased from the current six per cent to ten per cent of all dwellings, to keep pace with need and population growth.

There were 2,350 homeless people in the 2021 Census, up from 1,622 in 2016.

“This shocking trend (referring to the rise of homeless people) moving in the wrong direction,” Ms Chugg said.

Tasmania’s shelter sector currently assists over 7,000 people per year, with over a third of those requests involving families or domestic violence.

Ms Chugg said most of calls for help went unassisted because accommodation “simply can’t be found”.

“Tasmania’s current private rental market offers very few affordable and secure options for women and children who need to leave a violent situation’ as well as for women aged over 55 – the fastest growing demographic group of people facing homelessness, due to lower incomes and resources,” she said.

National Homelessness Week is being recognised across Tasmania with a number of events.

The list of events can be found here.

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