Homeless families will be moved into cabins and motels before winter as part of a government fix to the state’s housing crisis.
Newly appointed Housing Minister Roger Jaensch has announced $500,000 for what he’s calling “immediate emergency accommodation options” for Hobart.
It follows a housing summit held earlier this month which identified nine solutions for the rental shortage crippling southern Tasmania.
The summit was criticised for focusing on long-term solutions rather than fixes to alleviate those experiencing homelessness now, and a week later Hobart housing groups held another emergency meeting to find more immediate solutions.
“We recognise that the overall issue we’re dealing with is one of longer-term housing supply, and the need to release and build more houses for Tasmanians to live in,” Mr Jaensch said.
“But that’s not going to happen overnight.
“Over the next few weeks as we head into the colder part of the year, there are Tasmanians we know who are in personal and family housing crisis and we need to do something to ensure they’ve got a roof over their head and a warm safe place to be.”
Mr Janesch said he could not put a figure on how many families could be helped through the funds.
Of the $500,000, $150,000 will go towards employing three new housing case workers.
Royal Agricultural Society president Scott Gadd has raised concerns with his increased workload assisting families at the showgrounds, saying it “can’t go on”.
Mr Jaensch agreed it was not part of Mr Gadd’s job.
“He is a land lord, he’s not a support worker and shouldn’t have to be,” he said.
“This is very much about ensuring those people and the people who are camping or sleeping rough have access to the services available to them.”
Colony 47’s Danny Sutton welcomed the announcement.
“People come to us with immediate needs and by having some of these resources available, we can immediately allocate people into a shelter that’s suitable,” he said.
“For us that’s very important.”
Hobart has the lowest capital city rental vacancy rate, at just 0.3 per cent.