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Shelter TAS - Housing and Homelessness Peak
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Shelter TAS eNews
Thursday 2nd July 2020

A Message from Shelter Tas CEO

Everybody needs a home, and every neighbourhood needs affordable housing

Data released last week shows 3 578 applications on Tasmania’s social housing waiting list.  It took on average 59 weeks for priority applicants to gain social housing, in the three months to March 2020. You can view these figures on the Human Services Dashboard.

In light of these stark statistics, the resistance to proposals for new social and affordable housing on Government owned land in Tasmania is surprising.

Tasmanians needing these homes could be older people who have lost a partner and can no longer afford their existing home, people escaping family violence, and single people of all ages who are priced out of the expensive private rental market. Women aged over fifty-five are the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness.

Community resistance to the development at Huntingfield in Southern Tasmania is just one recent example of the NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) response to any proposal for social and affordable housing. Shelter Tas is aware that as at June 2020, nearly 900 people on the social housing waiting list have applied for accommodation in the Kingston area. Most are seeking one bedroom dwellings.

People who object to new social housing being built may not be aware of the extent of need and the great benefits that community housing has provided for people like ‘Mary,’ who at 66 years old finally found a home of her own in a newly built community development after months of couch surfing.  No-one meeting her would see a threat to their neighbourhood.

Let us avoid the planning mistakes of the past, by creating mixed and inclusive developments that will not become sites of entrenched disadvantage. In many cases throughout Tasmania, people’s initial concerns about affordable homes ‘in my backyard’ have proved unfounded as new neighbours achieve housing stability and live flourishing lives.

There are many benefits to having affordable, well planned housing for households of all income levels in every community. Younger family members can live nearer to their established relatives. Older people can downsize in familiar places. We can all experience the benefits of inclusive, vibrant neighbourhoods.

The Tasmanian community responds generously in supporting emergency shelters and contributing to people in need. We need the same support for long term housing options too.

All homes are built in someone’s backyard, and every delay, and every home not built means that someone is missing out on the home they need.

Take care and stay safe,
Pattie Chugg
Shelter Tas CEO. 
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Housing and Homelessness News

COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework 

The Tasmanian Government has launched a COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework to support businesses and workplaces to continue to operate, or reopen, while protecting Tasmania's health and safety.

All workplaces are now required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that complies with minimum COVID-19 safety standards.

The COVID Safe Workplace Guidelines - Social Assistance Services Industry and the COVID Safe Workplace Guidelines - Other Residential Care Services Industry factsheets for accommodation service providers are available here.

Checklists, templates and information on compliance with the minimum standards are on WorkSafe Tasmania’s website.
 
Worksafe Australia also has comprehensive information on COVID-19 safety for workplaces, guidelines for specific sectors and safety and considerations when working from home.
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Recent Shelter Tas Submissions

Shelter Tas wrote in support of the proposed development at Huntingfield and its affordable and social housing outcomes. Approximately 70 homes in the 470 lot development (15%) will be affordable and social housing. Even more housing would be welcome as there is clear evidence of the need for social housing in Kingborough and areas close to Hobart. Read the full submission here.  

Shelter Tas made a submission to the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Committee, calling for the next steps in the recovery to maintain a focus on housing as the foundation of health, address barriers in the planning system to ensure timely delivery of affordable housing, and establish a comprehensive and up-to-date data set to monitor the changing recovery environment. Find the submission on the Shelter Tas website and you can find out more at the PESRAC website.

Shelter Tas also made a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs Inquiry into Homelessness. Our submission called for a National Homelessness Plan and the investment in housing that is urgently needed to prevent and reduce homelessness. Click here to read the submission.

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Tasmanian Housing and COVID-19 Survey

AHURI and The Tasmania Project are conducting a survey to understand Tasmanians’ experience of the housing market during the COVID-19 pandemic - how it has impacted individuals, and what needs and issues must be accounted for in efforts to improve housing opportunities during recovery. This survey is part of a series that will investigate how Tasmania progresses through the phases of the COVID-19 crisis, to recovery and beyond.

This 4-part survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and you can access the survey and register your consent via this link. The survey is open to Tasmanians aged 18 and above. 
 
Please take a moment to complete the survey and forward the link to any colleagues, clients and stakeholder networks you think will be able to assist, in order to gather survey responses from a wide demographic of Tasmanians.   
 
Contact Dr Julia Verdouw from the UTas Housing and Community Research Unit, at julia.verdouw@utas.edu.au or on 6226 2313 if you have any questions.

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Housing Choices Tas Wins Funding From NHFIC

The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) has finalised a $562 million social bond.

This includes the first loan to a Tasmanian community housing provider, with Housing Choices Tasmania to build and renew 192 existing and new social and affordable homes.

Shelter Tas welcomes this boost to social and affordable housing in Tasmania. Read the NHFIC media release here.
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Human Services Dashboard Update

The Tasmanian government recently released the latest data on the Human Services Dashboard. 

In March, 78 applications resulted in people on the social housing waiting list being housed. There were 3578 applications on the social housing waiting list, up slightly from 3555 last month, and the average time to being housed in the March quarter was 59 weeks, a slight decrease from 65 weeks in the previous quarter. Click here to view the latest statistics.
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Call for Contributions to Parity Magazine

Parity magazine is the Council to Homeless Persons' national publication, and expressions of interest are currently being sought for their July edition - A Home Fit for Heroes: Meeting the needs of homeless veterans.

High rates of homelessness among veterans is a problem that has persisted in Australia over many decades. Following every major military conflict, many ex-service personnel have experienced problems integrating back into society, and each time this has resulted in increased homelessness among those returning.

All contributions should be submitted as Word documents to parity@chp.org.au.  Contributions can be up to 1,600 words (double page spread) or 800 words for a single page article. Please contact Parity Editor Noel Murray at the above email or ring (03) 8415 6200 If you have any questions. Detailed information on referencing and writing guidelines for the magazine can be found here. The deadline for contributions to the July edition of Parity is COB Friday 10th July 2020.
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Media Statements

Young people bear the brunt of rising housing stress
Alison Standen, Shadow Housing Minister, 30 June 2020 Anne Ruston, Peter Gutwein, Sarah Courtney, Claire Chandler, 27 June 2020

Human Services Dashboard update
Roger Jaensch, Minister for Human Services and Housing, 26 June 2020

Housing waiting lists reinforce need for action
Alison Standen, Shadow Housing Minister, 26 June 2020

Residential tenancy protections extended
Elise Archer, Minister for Building and Construction, 23 June 2020

Labor welcomes Liberal backflip on rental protections
Alison Standen, Shadow Housing Minister, 23 June 2020
 
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Research, Reports & Articles

Parliamentary Inquiry into Homelessness in Australia
Community Housing Industry Association, 10 June 2020
  Australian National University, 30 June 2020

While improved, Hobart's vacancy rate remains tightest in nation
realestate.com.au, 26 June 2020

'Confusing and not delivering enough': developers and councils want new affordable housing rules
The Conversation, 22 June 2020

Is housing stress a risk factor for coronavirus?
ABC RN Life Matters, 2 July 2020

The Recovery Book: What Australian governments should do now
The Grattan Institute, June 2020

NHFIC finalises $562 million social bond
Pro Bono Australia, 26 June 2020

Family violence, poverty and lack of housing behind rising numbers of homeless families
AHURI, 23 June 2020

Housing cost is biggest threat to a comfortable retirement
Firstlinks, 17 June 2020

Renovation rescue: 6 ways to ensure HomeBuilder helps consumers, the climate and the economy
The Conversation, 26 June 2020

COVID-19 and Consumers: from crisis to recovery
Consumer Policy Research Centre, June 2020
The Conversation, 25 June 2020
Sydney Morning Herald, 22 June 2020
 
The Guardian, 30 June 2020

COVID-19 mortgage stress creating uncertain housing futures
AHURI Brief, 30 June 2020

JobSeeker welfare recipients fear end of life-changing Coronavirus supplement
ABC News, 24 June 2020
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COVID-19 Updates for the Sector

COVID-19 Resources and Information

The State Government has developed a series of factsheets on COVID-19 responses for vulnerable Tasmanians and frontline workers that may be helpful at this time:
Also, links to the COVID-19 factsheets with general information:
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Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources

  • e-Headspace (for people aged 12 to 25 and their families) — call 1800 650 890 or chat online
  • Beyond Blue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) — call 1300 22 4636 or chat online
  • Black Dog Institute (anyone affected by mood disorders) — online help
  • SANE Australia (people living with a mental illness) — call 1800 18 7263 or chat online
  • This Way Up Clinic (anyone with stress, anxiety and depression) — online courses
  • MindSpot (people with anxiety and depression) — call 1800 61 44 34 or online screening
  • Pregnancy Birth Baby (telephone, video call and online counselling for parents — call 1800 882 436
  • My Aged Care (aged care services provided by the Australian government) — call 1800 200 422
  • Head to Health - the Government’s digital mental health gateway, is an online health hub for information, advice, online counselling, treatment and crisis support.
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Other News

Pets in the Park

The next Pets In The Park free vet clinic will be held this Saturday, 4 July 2020 at Mathers House - 108 Bathurst Street, Hobart.
 
A current referral for clients, and adherence to health and safety protocols is required. Referral forms can be emailed ahead of time, or presented on the day.

Please email Deb at hobart@petsinthepark.org.au or call 0420 363 122 if you have any questions or need a referral form for a client.

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Free Energy Advice

TasNetworks have partnered with the Australian Energy Foundation (AEF) to provide free over-the-phone, energy consultations for their customers.

If you are struggling to reduce energy bills without sacrificing convenience or comfort (particularly in these uncertain times), a consultation with an AEF energy advisor may help. They can help you to understand your energy bill and provide advice on simple changes you can make at home to save power and lower your electricity bill. Click here to find out more about the service and book an appointment.

You can also find out more about the AEF or discover some simple tips to help save power this winter.
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Emergency Food Relief Directory

The Emergency Food Relief Directory has been complied as a result of queries from support agencies on where additional support for food relief efforts can be directed, such as produce, meals, deliveries and volunteers. The directory aims to capture the current activity in all three Tasmanian regions.

Go to the TasCOSS website for more information.
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Shelter Tas is supported by the Department of Communities Tasmania.
Copyright © 2020 Shelter Tasmania Inc., All rights reserved.
This eNews has been sent to you because you have indicated that you are interested in receiving updates and information from Shelter Tas.

Thanks to all contributors for their submissions and feedback to the eNews. As content comes from many different sources, views expressed are not necessarily those of Shelter Tas. We welcome your input to the eNews - please send suggestions or articles to comm@sheltertas.org.au for consideration.

Shelter Tasmania Inc. Suite 33 110-114 Collins Street Hobart, Tas 7000 Australia

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