Media Release by Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

30 New houses for vulnerable people in Launceston

Young people in Launceston will benefit from a new social housing development opened today, built with the help of $4.2 million from the Australian Government through the Social Housing Initiative.

The Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness Mark Arbib and Member for Bass Geoff Lyons today welcomed the opening of Thyne House in York Street, Launceston, which will offer safe and secure homes for people in need.

“Thyne House will provide a stable home for vulnerable youth and people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,” Mr Lyons said.

“The development features 30 units comprising of 17 studio units and 13 one-bedroom units and a manager’s cottage with a bed sit for emergency accommodation.

“Ten units are Class C adaptable, which means they are easily modified for tenants with disability and all incorporate six-star energy rating and environmental design principles.

“I would like to thank Housing Tasmania, Community Housing Limited and Anglicare Tasmania for their involvement in the development and management of this housing development.”

Ongoing supported accommodation services at Thyne House will be funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

The Australian Government has committed $1.1 billion under the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness to directly reduce the number of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness across the country.

Senator Arbib said the new accommodation at Thyne House demonstrated the importance of governments working together with individuals, and the community to address homelessness, particularly among young people.

“Tackling homelessness is the responsibility of all, and the Australian Government is pleased to be working with the Tasmanian Government to provide these new units in Launceston,” Senator Arbib said.

“Across Australia there are over 44,000 people aged under 25 years experiencing homelessness – in Tasmania, the figure is around 1,300, 53 per cent of the total Tasmanian homeless population.

“Under the National Partnership Agreement we are delivering more than 180 new and expanded initiatives across the country, including six initiatives in Tasmania.”

Senator Arbib said as part of its commitment to reducing homelessness, the Australian Government has also invested $5.6 billion in social housing through the Social Housing Initiative – the single largest investment ever undertaken by an Australian Government.

“Under the Social Housing Initiative, around 19,600 homes are being constructed across the nation and will be completed by June 2012 – over 16,600 of these have already been completed,” Senator Arbib said.

“In Tasmania, 480 of the 530 new homes we have committed funding to have been completed under the Social Housing Initiative.

“Through the Initiative, the Australian Government has supported more than 15,000 jobs nationally, and helped shield Australia from the recession that hit most other economies.”