Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Record Investment to Combat Homelessness in Tasmania

The Gillard Government’s record investment of $290.9 million in social and affordable housing in Tasmania has helped those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, a new report card shows.

The mid-term review of Coming in from the Cold, the Tasmanian Government’s Homelessness Plan 2010-2013, found that the Commonwealth and State Government’s efforts to deliver long term housing and services for vulnerable people are working.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness Brendan O’Connor and Member for Bass Geoff Lyons today attended the launch of the report card at Thyne House in Launceston, a supported accommodation centre for vulnerable young people.

“All Australians deserve a safe, secure home,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The Gillard Government is committed to tackling the challenge of homelessness. Since 2008, we have increased funding by almost $5 billion to address homelessness, including new homes as well as new and expanded support services across each state and territory.

“What this mid-term review shows is that our partnership with the Tasmanian Government is delivering positive outcomes for Tasmanians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“Already, 357 of the 1,463 homes approved under the Australian Government’s National Rental Affordability Scheme have already been completed and tenanted.

“We’ve also started work on an additional 850 affordable homes.”

The Gillard Government is investing more than $14.3 million to break the cycle of homelessness in Tasmania under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

Mr Lyons said the mid-term review shows that much progress has been made so far, with even more new and expanded services to come for the state of Tasmania.

“In Launceston, two new Supported Accommodation Facilities are now up and running and a third is open at Ulverstone,” Mr Lyons said.

“The $4.2 million Thyne House construction was fully funded by the Gillard Government’s Social Housing Initiative to offeryoung people who are doing it tough a place to call home.”

Thyne House comprises 30 supported homes, including 17 studio apartments and 13 one-bedroom units. The Tasmanian Government contributed $1.5 million to buy the land.

Mr O’Connor said he was committed to working with all State and Territory Governments to help reach the goal of halving homelessness and provide supported accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.

“We recognise that homelessness is a serious issue here in Tasmania, and these projects are part of our efforts to deliver safe and secure place for vulnerable Tasmanians,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The Gillard Government is committed to tackling the issue of homelessness and I look forward to seeing even more progress under Coming in From the Cold.