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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, today addressed Federal Parliament to highlight the urgent need to solve the housing crisis in Tasmania.

“Rents across Tasmania have risen by an alarming 36 per cent in the past five years, with vacancy rates remaining below one per cent,” Mr Wilkie said. “One single mum is a facing a 59 per cent hike in her rent from $220 to $350 per week.  She is now in ‘panic mode’ and may have to move into a tent or caravan with her three-year-old son.

“It’s common to line up with more than 100 people to view a house for sale or rent, while more than 3,500 Tasmanians are languishing on public housing waiting list. The average waiting time for ‘priority’ applicants is 63.7 weeks. This woeful situation, compounded by a moratorium on evictions and rent increases ending earlier this year, is about to become even worse when JobKeeper and the life-saving JobSeeker COVID subsidy disappear.

“Disturbingly, Tasmania already holds the unenviable title of the least affordable state in which to rent. The proportion of income required to cover rental costs is an eye-popping 29.5 per cent, compared with a national average of 24 per cent.”