The need is now
Anglicare has made clear and urgent recommendations to a parliamentary Select Committee investigating housing affordability.
“In our presentation to the Committee this week, we provided practical and evidence-based experiences from our Housing Connect front door and the expertise of our Social Action and Research Centre,” said Noel Mundy, Anglicare’s General Manager of Housing and Community Services.
Our submission described the situation we are seeing – a housing system that is full and blocked. Anglicare representatives shared stories of people struggling to afford their rent and pay for other necessities such as electricity, food and medications.
“These case studies demonstrated the confronting impacts created by the lack of supply of adequate and affordable housing,” said Noel. “We advised the Committee that the need is now and if we don’t increase supply and affordability, the crisis will continue on for many years”.
Anglicare explained how the current shortage of affordable rental housing is having dire impacts for young people on Youth Allowance, single parents reliant on Newstart, single people on Disability Support Pension, single people on Age Pension, and families on low incomes. Without secure housing, it is much more difficult for people to plan for the future, find and maintain employment, undertake study, and look after their health.
Anglicare is also concerned about vulnerable children experiencing homelessness. We highlighted the urgent need for a suite of care and accommodation services for these unaccompanied children.
The Tasmanian Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy is rightly focused on increasing the provision of more low-priced dwellings. We see this as essential infrastructure. Our concern is that despite some excellent initiatives, there is going to be a major shortfall. Hundreds more homes will be required to make up the gap and help shape a better future for our state.
We want the Federal Government to remove the historic housing debt, giving Tasmania the opportunity to further increase the supply of affordable housing. We also believe a minimum percentage should be set for affordable housing in all new housing developments.
The Select Committee was appointed by the House of Assembly to inquire into this important issue and report back to the Tasmanian Parliament in October.
Anglicare has been assisting people struggling with debt and low income since 1983.
Across Tasmania we offer a broad range of services that provide support for life’s challenges.