Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

$28 million to target homelessness in Tasmania

Joint Media Release with:

  • Lin Thorp MP, Tasmanian Minister for Human Services

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments are providing an additional $28 million over four years to reduce homelessness through the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

On the 2006 Census night, more than 2,500 Tasmanians were homeless and both Governments are determined to reduce homelessness across the state.

Federal , Tanya Plibersek and Tasmanian Minister for Human Services, Lin Thorp today outlined new initiatives to reduce homelessness and reach out to people struggling to keep a roof over their heads during the global recession.

The National Partnership Agreement includes these initiatives:

  • The Same House Different Landlord program which will move homeless people into 100 homes across Tasmania.
  • Dedicated teams of support staff which will provide specialist tenancy services to assist people moving from homelessness to maintain long term housing tenancy.
  • Five new homelessness facilities which will be built, one in the North West and two each in the North and South, including the previously announced A Place to Call Home project in Hobart.
  • Improvements will be made to service coordination to forge stronger links between specialist homelessness services and mainstream housing.

Ms Plibersek said the Rudd Government has invested more than $7.8 billion to tackle homelessness in Australia.

“The Rudd Government understands many Australians are doing it tough as we face the worst global recession in 75 years,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The new National Partnership Agreement provides $28 million over four years for additional services and innovative new programs in Tasmania.

“The Rudd Government will continue to work closely with the Tasmanian Government and the community sector to roll out these initiatives.

“There will be an increased focus on early intervention to help break the cycle of homelessness.”

“The Rudd Government’s Homelessness White Paper contains ambitious targets – to halve homelessness in Australia and offer accommodation to all rough sleepers who seek it by 2020.”

Ms Thorp said that as a clever and kind State, Tasmania is focused on making changes to the lives of Tasmania’s most vulnerable.

“Tasmania has committed specifically to halving the number of Tasmanians sleeping rough by the end of 2010. This is in excess of the Australian Government’s target for primary homelessness.

“Under the National Partnership Agreement, we will help 200 households, who have experienced repeated homelessness periods, with both accommodation and support.

“Through the National Partnership Agreement, we are working to make significant progress to reform public and community housing, provide additional support for homelessness and improve remote Indigenous housing.

“This National Partnership and the efforts underway in the development of the Tasmanian Homelessness Plan will significantly reform how Tasmania meets the challenges of homelessness.”

“Work has commenced and I am looking forward to the changes we will see over the next few years to help Tasmanian families in need,” Ms Thorp said.

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments are also rolling out 65 new social housing dwellings across the state as the first step in the Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan, with more to come in Stage Two.

In addition, the supply of affordable housing will be boosted by 50,000 affordable rental properties across the country under the co-funded National Rental Affordability Scheme.