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Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

A new chance for Tasmania’s homeless

Joint Media Release with:

  • Cassy O'Connor MP, Minister for Human Services
  • Senator Carol Brown , Senator for Tasmania

The Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness, Mark Arbib, the Tasmanian Minister for Human Services, Cassy O’Connor and Senator for Tasmania Carol Brown today launched two programs to help 100 vulnerable Tasmanians who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Senator Arbib said the Keys to the Future and Stay programs were funded through a contribution of almost $5 million by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments through the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

“Homelessness is a complex issue. It’s not just about putting a roof over someone’s head, it’s also about ensuring support services are available to assist vulnerable people,” Senator Arbib said.

“These programs will provide a roof over the head of 100 vulnerable members of our society and the support to ensure they get the opportunities to turn their lives around.

“On the last Census count, more than 2,500 people were homeless in Tasmania. I am very proud to be working with the Tasmanian Government and not-for-profit sector to provide long-term housing and intensive support to people for the duration of their need.”

The Minister for Human Services, Cassy O’Connor, said the new innovative services were designed for people who often cycled through homelessness. 

“These are people who need stable housing and day to day support to get back on their feet,” Ms O’Connor said.

“These new services will work closely together to make sure this happens.

“And they are already making a difference.

“Already there are people who are experiencing the first ever stable accommodation in their life. There are other families working at reunification with their kids who have been in care. 

“This is exactly the sort of services we need to invest in to reduce homelessness and strengthen our community.”

Ms O’Connor said the programs would be delivered through local not-for-profit organisations Colony 47, Centacare Tasmania and the Australia Red Cross. 

“The Stay program will provide intensive support to clients and be managed by Centacare Tasmania in partnership with the Australian Red Cross. Colony 47’s Keys to the Future program will manage the houses.

“The Tasmanian Government, with the support of the Gillard Government is committed to ending the cycle of homelessness.”

Senator Carol Brown said the Gillard Government was determined to reach the goal of halving homelessness by 2020.

“The Australian Government is committed to reducing homelessness and is working towards two ambitious goals to halve homelessness and provide accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020,” Senator Carol Brown said.

“Under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, the Australian and Tasmanian Governments will contribute $32.9 million over five years to reduce homelessness in Tasmania.”

Therese Taylor, CEO of Colony 47 said the Keys to the Future program aimed to provide an affordable, safe and secure home environment.

“It is flexible and responsive to client needs and delivers services that surpass the support that can be provided in the private market to assist tenants in achieving independence and planning for their future,” Ms Taylor said.