More than 3000 people on public housing waitlist

At last count, the number of people waiting for public housing was the highest it had been for a year.

There were 3318 applicants waiting to be housed as of March 2019, the latest figures from the Department of Human Services show.

The number of applicants waiting for housing fluctuated throughout the year but always remained above 3000 people.

The average wait time for a public housing residence as of March was 50 weeks – a decrease of 10 weeks from the June 2018 quarter. The number of applicants housed per month fluctuated between 60 and 131.

TasCOSS chief executive Kym Goodes said the numbers showed Tasmania was losing ground when it came to housing the homeless.

“The quarterly update does not bring any relief for those looking for a place to call home,” she said.

“The number of people on the waiting list has increased and this is the largest increase in a reporting period we have seen. But, the number of people being housed has decreased.

“In real terms this means what is currently being undertaken to address the housing needs of families and individuals is not enough, and is not keeping up with demand.

“This will come as little surprise to those desperately seeking even just a roof over their head, who can only dream of a long term, stable home.

“The $5 million released by Cabinet last week will help to look at alternative immediate emergency options, but the scale and scope of social housing need in Tasmania is growing daily.”

In a joint statement, Minister for Human Services Roger Jaensch and Minister for Community Development Jacquie Petrusma noted the wait time for housing had decreased.

“We are taking urgent action on housing, and last week we announced an additional $5 million for immediate actions to further expand our response to homelessness and housing stress across Tasmania,” they said.

“More people are being housed faster, and the number of people being housed in the March quarter was 243.”

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