Media Statement Tuesday 10th April 2018
Shelter Tasmania is pleased the State Government is taking further steps to help low income Tasmanians access affordable and secure housing. Shelter Tasmania understands the Private Landlord Incentives Program is the first of a series of initiatives to be released.
The majority of renters in Tasmania (60%) are low income households. More than 8,300 of these are living in rental stress and paying more than 30% of their income on housing costs. Many others are unable to access the rental market at all.
The Private Landlord Incentives Program is a short term measure that will help address this, but it must also be complemented with longer term strategies to increase the overall supply of affordable rental housing.
Shelter Tasmania would also like to see the Program complemented with better regulation of short term stay accommodation such as AirBnB, which is adding to the scarcity of affordable rental housing in our competitive rental markets.
We understand that more details about the Private Landlord Incentives Program will be released soon.
However, we look forward to better understanding how this Program will be delivered, including:
– avoiding displacing existing tenants currently housed in the properties
– the income groups that will be eligible
– the tenancy protections and measures that will be taken to ensure tenants do not face unaffordable rents once the incentive expires
– the eligibility criteria for properties, including housing quality, location in relation to demand, and access to jobs and services.
Shelter Tasmania sees the potential for this Program to establish a centralised register of properties for people seeking affordable housing.
Shelter Tasmania also thinks the Program offers the opportunity to lead a cultural shift towards longer term leases. In Tasmanian 1 in 4 households now rent their home. With 40% of rental households renting for longer than 10 years it is a concern that most have leases of only one year or less.
At $10-13,000 per property, the Private Rental Landlord Incentives Program is a substantial investment. Shelter Tasmania calls for the Program to be introduced on a trial basis and independently evaluated. We need to be sure that we are getting the best long term outcome from this investment for our community.
For more information and comment, contact:
Shelter Tas Executive Officer
M: 0419 536 100