Housing TasmaniaHousing Tasmania

Housing System and Direction

History of Social Housing in TasmaniaOur History

The development of social housing in Tasmania and nationally has changed considerably over the past century.

Initially, social housing was provided for working class families after the post‑ war period. There was a need for three or four bedroom houses and these were built in broadacre estates to provide for the high level of demand.

Over time the profile of applicants and tenants has changed. A range of approaches have been required to provide affordable housing for people when they do not have the means to access or maintain their own housing.

A growing population and smaller household size has meant that dwellings needed are now smaller and in closer proximity, with better access to employment, transport and services. The primary income source for most applicants and tenants is some form of government benefit.

Our Housing and Homelessness System

Housing assistance in Tasmania is provided to people who are on low to moderate incomes who need some help to access and maintain affordable housing.

Housing assistance ranges from homelessness services to home ownership assistance, and is aimed to match the right product to the person’s needs.

In Tasmania, the Director of Housing owns more than 12 000 social housing properties.

Around 7 400 of these are public housing and Aboriginal housing. The remaining properties are community housing. This includes around 3 900 homes managed by community housing providers under the Better Housing Futures initiative.

Dwellings are also provided as homelessness shelters and supported accommodation. Housing Tasmania also funds organisations to provide long term accommodation and support for people in housing need.

Housing Tasmania is expanding its role to assist people in housing need to better access affordable housing within the private rental market.

The Problem: Supply and Demand

Housing assistance is required because there is a gap between demand (people with housing needs) and supply (availability of affordable and appropriate properties).

There are some key issues with social housing stock in Tasmania that are similar in other states and territories:

Stock is ageing

  • Ageing social housing stock means maintenance costs are high and with some maintenance deferred. There would be a large cost to replace or redevelop social housing stock.

Number of bedrooms do not match needs

  • There are a large number of properties with three or more bedrooms. Household size is decreasing resulting in greater demand for properties with a smaller number of bedrooms.

Modified environments do not match needs

  • There are an increasing number of people living with disability, and on a Disability Support Pension. More people will require a modified environment that is not readily available through existing social housing stock.

Location of stock does not match needs

  • Many properties were previously built in broadacre areas with limited access to health services, employment and public transport. This has been improving through building new properties in areas close to services along with community development activities and new infrastructure in existing broadacre areas.

Our Direction

The Tasmania’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2015-2025 and Action Plan 2015‑2019 (Action Plan) outline the housing reform agenda for Tasmania over 10 years.

Capital initiatives will contribute to increasing supply of over 900 affordable housing properties.

The Action Plan also includes actions that will contribute to the realignment of social housing stock to better match housing need.

An additional 1 600 households in need will be assisted by June 2019.

Addressing the demand and supply gap requires ongoing investment. It also requires a commitment from all levels of government and the private sector to put into place innovative approaches to improve housing affordability.

Housing Assistance to Eligible Persons

The people to be provided with housing assistance and housing support services in Tasmania need to be 'eligible persons'. The detail of who is an 'eligible person' can be found at Housing Assistance for Eligible Persons.