More homes for the homeless on the horizon and incentives for Tasmania Property Owners

homeless
homeless

Homelessness is a growing problem across many parts of the state with the cause varying from person to person. 

Rising living costs, including rising housing prices, are outstripping the ability of many families to afford homes. 

There is currently a $1.5 billion commitment to tackle the housing crisis, with the Tasmanian Government saying they will provide $538.3 million of capital investment with $204.3 million this year alone. 

“The Tasmanian Government believes all Tasmanians deserve a roof over their heads and we remain committed to doing all we can to address housing and rental supply issues,” said Guy Barnett, Minister for State Development, Construction, and Housing. 

As part of the government’s social and affordable housing plan, they have announced an ambitious plan to produce 10,000 homes and dwellings by 2032 and say they are on track to build 1500 of these by 30th June next year.  

In addition to building more homes, incentives are available to Tasmanian property owners with the release of the expanded Private Rental Incentives (PRI) program. 

Under the PRI program, property owners are invited to make their homes available for affordable rent to households on low incomes and who have low or no support needs. Rents are capped at between 25 to 30 percent below median rates in their region. 

In return, property owners receive an incentive payment of up to $9,900 per property per annum. 

Tenancy and property management are provided on behalf of the property owner by experienced community housing provider Centacare Evolve Housing. Property owners are guaranteed rent for a two-year lease. 

The Tasmanian Government is doubling the portfolio incentives with a further 200 homes under the expanded program. Tasmanians on low incomes and who can live in private rentals with affordable rent may be eligible to apply. 

Landlords can find out more information about the Private Rental Incentives Program by visiting https://www.communities.tas.gov.au/housing

The Tenants Union of Tasmania’s website reported that the weighted median rent rate in Tasmania increased by more than $15 since the beginning of 2022. 

The Northern region of Tasmania has the second highest rental prices in the State, with a weighted median rent sitting just below $400. The most expensive region is the South, where weighted median rent is over $450 per week, and the North-West is close behind with a weighted median rent of just under $350 per week. 

“A critical part of delivering real change for our community and building more homes faster to help Tasmanians in need is our new authority, Homes Tasmania.” 

Homes Tasmania will provide a dedicated focus on housing and homelessness services, increase the number of social and affordable homes and have a market-wide view of Tasmania’s housing challenges and opportunities. 

“I was joined by the new Homes Tasmania Chair, Michele Adair, and several Board Directors including Timothy Gourlay, Daryl Lamb, and Alice Spizzo to mark this historic day at the site of a new social housing development in Ravenswood.” 

Michele Adair has extensive experience in the community housing and business sector, the health, aging, and disability sector, is CEO of the NSW Housing Trust, and is Chair of the Community Housing Industry Association in NSW. 

“I’m excited by the Tasmanian Government’s vision and commitment to addressing the need for more social and affordable housing. Having worked and maintained close relationships in Tasmania over the past 15-20 years it’s a privilege to be able to lead Homes Tasmania and to make a difference in the lives, communities, and businesses of this wonderful State.” Ms. Adair said.  

Centacare Evolve Housing and Wilson Homes are delivering five units on the site for Housing Register applicants when they are completed in April next year. Wilson Homes has been able to employ 11 apprentices on these units and other projects. 

Not only are these social housing developments providing homes for vulnerable Tasmanians, but they are also providing employment opportunities for young Tasmanians. 

The homes Tasmania Board will provide leadership, innovation, and expertise to seize opportunities to do things differently to deliver the Tasmanian Government’s commitment of $1.5 billion for 10,000 new homes by 2032. 

This includes being able to use its $3.5 billion balance sheet to drive more investment to create more housing solutions. 

In addition to building houses, Homes Tasmania will deliver housing and specialised homelessness services for Tasmanians in response to needs, with a focus on providing safe and affordable dwellings, including supports available to prevent homelessness. 

This will ensure that Tasmania will have the most integrated and cohesive housing and homelessness system in the country. 

Critical to Homes Tasmania’s success will be the ongoing partnerships with the State’s housing and homelessness sector, community housing providers, local government, and industry through the recently formed Minister’s Housing Reference Group. 

It will work across government, sectors, and the community to better understand the housing market and future need for housing, lead urban renewal, and create more inclusive communities. One of its first tasks will be finalising the 20-Year Housing Strategy for Tasmania which will guide the development of the targeted 10,000 homes. 

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