Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Homelessness target reached, but more to do

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Federal Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness
    The Hon Cassy O'Connor MP, Tasmanian Secretary to Cabinet

The Tasmanian and Australian Governments will continue efforts to reduce homelessness after successfully meeting the target to provide 193 accommodation places for Tasmanians who are homeless.

The achievement is in line with the commitment to halve the number of people sleeping rough by December 2010. It is also a further step towards the Australian Government’s Commitment to provide accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.

Tasmanian Secretary to Cabinet, Cassy O’Connor, together with Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins, made the announcement today while inspecting the site of a new $9 million, 47 unit Common Ground development in Liverpool Street.

“Achieving our target of providing places for people who are homeless has been an encouraging first step – but we’re not finished yet,” Ms O’Connor said.

“We will be increasing our efforts in 2011 by providing more new homes for people who are homeless.

“Next year we will deliver three new Supported Accommodation Facilities, two in Launceston and one in Ulverstone, which will provide accommodation to people who are homeless and people on low incomes in need of affordable housing.

“We are also making progress towards two exciting Common Ground facilities under development in Hobart right now; one at Campbell Street and the other here in Liverpool Street.”

Ms Collins said that she was pleased to see strong results in Tasmania and projects getting off the ground on the back of significant investment from the Australian and Tasmanian Governments.

“The Liverpool Street development is further evidence that the Australian Government is working with the states and territories to put a roof over the heads of people who are homeless,” Ms Collins said.

“The Australian Government’s investment through the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan and the National Rental Affordability Scheme will also result in nearly 200 homes in Tasmania specifically for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness next financial year.”

Federal Minister for Social Housing Homeless Mark Arbib said the Australian Government is working hard to reduce homelessness

“It’s incredibly hard to cope without a place to call home – a place that most people find to be a strong source of comfort and stability,” Senator Arbib said.

“That is why the Australian Government has made tackling homelessness a national priority – investing almost $5 billion in new funding towards addressing this important issue.

” Ms O’Connor and Ms Collins today met with representatives of Common Ground Tasmania, Hobart City Council, Hobart City Mission and builder, Fairbrother Pty Ltd on the site to inspect plans for the development.

Site works will begin next week with an archaeological dig. “This area has been used as inner city accommodation since the early days of Hobart,” Ms O’Connor said.

“And we’re expecting that we may uncover some more of Hobart’s past as we give the area a new role.

“All objects of significance will be collected and preserved under appropriate heritage laws.”

Since March 2008, 277 people who were sleeping rough and 1546 people who experienced other forms of homelessness have been identified on Housing Tasmania’s waiting list and been able to be assisted into public housing.

The new facility is being built as a joint partnership between State and Federal Governments under A Place to Call Home funding and the National Partnership Agreement on Social Housing.

Table: Accommodation allocated specifically for people who were homeless in 2008-2010:
Bilton Lodge, Claremont 35
Bayview Lodge, Rosny 30
Additional properties for existing services, targeted at people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness 30
Same House, Different Landlord program 100
TOTAL (Target Dec 2010 is 193) 195