The Hobart

Hobart’s Property Market Holds The Key To Reducing Homelessness

by Noel Mundy, Mission Australia
Hobart’s Property Market Holds The Key To Reducing Homelessness

Early last year, as I passed by the tents, cars and makeshift shelters constructed by people rough sleeping at Hobart Showgrounds, I felt a not unfamiliar sense of outrage that people in Tasmania are being forced to live like this.

Splashed across the media, we saw a vulnerable group of people and families with young children who made a last ditch, desperate attempt to find some form of shelter. They had been pushed into homelessness because they had nowhere affordable, safe and secure to live.

I’ve been a State Director for Mission Australia for 18 years now, and I can tell you that what we’ve seen unfold at the Showgrounds is just the tip of the iceberg. We know that there are many more Tasmanians who might not be making headlines by rough sleeping, but are being pushed into hidden homelessness. These are the people who have to move from couch to couch because they have nowhere permanent to stay, they’re living in your neighbour’s garage, or sleeping in their car. They’re the young people being assisted by our Youth Beat service, or your elderly neighbour moving into crisis accommodation.

As a third generation Tasmanian, I know very well that Hobart’s issue with homelessness isn’t just a flash in the pan problem. It’s been a systemic issue for decades. But, this is the first time in Tasmanian history where our booming real estate market is not only a major reason people are being pushed into homelessness, but it could also hold the key to helping solve this problem.

The most recent Rental Affordability Index from National Shelter shows that Greater Hobart is the least affordable metropolitan area in Australia. It means that even an average income household is on the verge of housing stress and low income households are facing more severe rental stress. Social Security payments including rental assistance aren’t keeping up with the pace of rental prices.

Of course, people who are struggling to make ends meet can try and find somewhere more affordable, perhaps outside of Hobart but this may mean moving away from jobs and family support. And at the extreme end the only affordable option becomes the street, a car, or a couch.

We’ve all seen the flood of new developments in Hobart. As counterintuitive as it may seem, this boom could also be a golden opportunity to help reduce homelessness.

With the right policy settings including targets, we can make sure these developments deliver social and affordable homes too.

We must re-prioritise the developments we want to see in our city. We are in this together and we all have a responsibility to commit to ensuring that people of all ages and people facing challenges in their lives, can afford a safe place to come home to. So our children and our children’s children have a safe place to call home.

It will take solid partnerships and political determination to deliver this. But we know that the building of inclusive communities has been incredibly successful in cities in Australia and around the world. Let’s strike in 2019, while the property’s hot. We must not look back on this property boom with regret.

Noel Mundy, Mission Australia Tasmania State Director. Follow Noel at @NoelMundy59

Love this

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close
Exploring Tassie These Winter School Holidays
We know that staying indoors with the family isn’t always fun. And while it’s obviously cold outside, you’re only a puffer jacket and beanie away from being comfortable and ready to explore. There’s lots of family fun to be had in all sorts of weird and wonderful places across the state these school holidays.
Sand Surfing on the Peninsula
The half-day walk to Crescent Beach in the Tasman National Park offers so much- including epic sand dunes for surfing and incredible views.
27 Hobart Friends Get Snipping For One Off Wine
The borders were declared shut in Tasmania on the 30th of March, 2020; the first stare to do so amid the COVID- 19 pandemic and hard lockdown of Hobart followed.
Danphe Nepalese and Indian Food + Peppermint Bay Bar and Bistro
Nepalese food is a comfort in our house. Having spent much time trekking and mountain climbing in Nepal as a younger man, Nepalese food is something I always love to go back to.
That’s DR Hannah Gadsby To You
From Smithton to Netflix and the Emmys stage, Tasmanian stand up comic Hannah Gadsby has forged an unlikely path. Following on from the massive success of her shows Nanette and Douglas, Hannah brings her new show Body of Work to Hobart this month.
PODCAST: Incat founder Robert Clifford on why electric boats are the future
Robert Clifford is the founder of Incat, a Hobart company building fast ferries for the world. Always looking to future opportunities, he has identified where Hobart sits in the next wave of transportation. For more of this interview listen to The Hobart Magazine podcast.
Is Tourism Ready For More Forestry Wars?
Tasmanian forests are special. They’re home to centuries-old trees, including the tallest flowering trees on the planet, and support unique native species. Yet not everyone agrees on how these forests should be managed.
Hobart Chefs: When The Obsession Becomes Real
Tasmania’s brand as a foodie haven is cemented. But within the local hospitality industry there are those who love to use local produce...and those who are next-level obsessed with it. We spoke to a bunch of Hobart chefs who are top of the game when it comes to fostering relationships with local farmers and growers.
Did You Know Australia’s First Female Doctor Was Hobartian?
Tasmania, despite its small size and population in comparison to the mainland, has produced more than its proportionally predicted percentage of significant figures and heroes of Australian history. 
Return Travellers Adding Pressure to Hobart Housing
For all of us 2020 was a year like no other, punctuated by rapid change and plenty of new challenges. For vulnerable people in Tasmania, including people facing homelessness, those on low incomes and those facing increasingly higher rents, it was very challenging. We are seeing a growing demand for homes in Tassie from international travellers returning home, people moving for work and others seeking the lifestyle that our Apple Isle has to offer.
Magazine
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
July 2022

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!