Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Signing of the Tasmanian Bilateral Agreement Made Under the 2003 Commonwealth State Housing Agreement (CSHA)

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced that the new five-year individual agreement under the Commonwealth State Housing Agreement (CSHA) had been signed with the Tasmanian Government.

Senator Patterson said the Howard Government would provide more than $124 million over the life of the Agreement (2003-08), signed with the Tasmanian Minister for Health and Human Services, David Llewellyn.

“The Howard Government has allocated $4.75 billion nationally for the CSHA to help some of society’s most vulnerable people get into safe, affordable public housing,” she said

“The signing of this Agreement gives the Tasmanian Government five years of financial certainty to provide housing. It is this long- term commitment that allows it to get on with the job of helping those most in need.

“I am also pleased to note this CSHA features indexation for the first time.

“The funding will assist people on low incomes in need of urgent housing, including those who are at risk of homelessness, in crisis or otherwise unable to obtain appropriate housing in the private rental market.”

Key features of the Tasmanian Bilateral Agreement are:

  • to maintain a viable social housing sector;
  • to expand access to affordable housing options for Indigenous people, including home purchase options;
  • to ensure housing assistance supports access to employment; including creating employment and skills development opportunities for social housing tenants in new development and redevelopment projects; and
  • to grow and diversify social housing by attracting additional resources.

“The new CSHA signed by all states and territories last year includes a new and innovative aspect that encourages states and territories to attract funding from the private and corporate sector to help with the cost of public housing,” Senator Patterson said.

“This not only gets State and Territory Governments to think more laterally about how they can best meet the housing needs of people, importantly it also provides more funding that can be put to good use.

“The signing of the Agreement with the Tasmanian Government is another example of the Australian Government working together with State and Territory Governments to provide affordable and secure housing options and better housing opportunities for Australians in need,” Senator Patterson said.