Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

$10 million for homeless housing

Joint Media Release with:

  • David Bartlett, Premier of Tasmania
  • Lin Thorp, Tasmanian Minister for Human Services
  • Duncan Kerr, Federal member for Denison

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments today announced a $10 million project to help vulnerable Tasmanians break the cycle of homelessness.

Premier David Bartlett and Human Services Minister Lin Thorp joined the Federal Member for Denison Duncan Kerr to launch a 45-unit housing development and support service in Hobart’s inner city.

A Place to Call Home Hobart will be Tasmania’s first Common Ground housing development, offering not only accommodation but support services to help homeless people return to a stable life.

A Place to Call Home Hobart will provide accommodation for the homeless and a mix of tenants including workers, students, and other low income earners.

It is expected that the project will be fully completed and ready for occupancy by April next year.

Mr Bartlett said the project was a great example of all three tiers of Government working together with private enterprise and the non-government sector for the benefit of the whole community.

The Australian and Tasmanian Government each contributed $5 million to the project.

The Hobart City Council and Hobart City Mission have made available the site – which they jointly own – at the corner of Liverpool and Barrack Sts.

The City Council will retain ownership and operation of the Liverpool St car park.

The City Mission will sell its part of the site to the State Government and has expressed interest in on-going invovlement once the development has been completed.

Mr Bartlett said the initiative for the development had come from Tasmanian construction firm Fairbrothers.

“Fairbrothers developed the proposal and have proactively secured the involvement of each of the partnering organizations.

“They have also agreed to cut their normal construction margin and developers profit, delivering a saving on normal building costs of around $150,000.”

Ms Plibersek said that A Place to Call Home Hobart is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when governments work with non-government organisations, local businesses and community groups.

“Homelessness is everyone’s responsibility and we all need to work together and take responsible action now to reduce homelessness in Australia.”

Ms Thorp said A Place to Call Home Hobart will be the first in Tasmania to be developed and run under the Common Ground principles. This means not only stable housing will be offered but on-site support services such as mental health, social and vocational support services will be on-hand to help break the cycle of homelessness.

“The services provided by A Place to Call Home Hobart will make a big difference in helping people who are homeless make the transition to stable housing.”

Mr Kerr said the Federal Government’s commitment to halving homelessness by 2020 involves the largest investment in social housing by any Australian government.

“During my time as an MP, absolutely the most distressing issue I have faced is that of homeless constituents.”