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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Ending Homelessness in Tasmania report

Cover of the Ending homelessness in Tasmania reportThe Tasmanian Government invited Rosanne Haggerty, authority on homelessness, to visit Tasmania in March 2008. Rosanne is the founder of New York not-for-profit organisation Common Ground Community, the largest developer of supportive housing in the United States. She has also been instrumental in helping South Australia to reduce homelessness in that state by 25 per cent.

From 16 to 18 March 2008, Ms Haggerty toured emergency housing facilities and met with people who work every day to help homeless Tasmanians. The Government requested Ms Haggerty to write a report on her observations, including advice about innovative solutions to homelessness.

Ms Haggerty’s report, Ending Homelessness in Tasmania PDF icon(PDF, 1.1MB), commends the excellent work already occurring in the government and community sectors to reduce homelessness in Tasmania.

> View an online version of the Ending Homelessness in Tasmania report

The report draws attention to Tasmania’s successful incorporation of services for people who are homeless into individual neighbourhoods, and describes existing facilities and service providers as being respectful, caring and professional.

Ms Haggerty highlights the need to create a range of public housing opportunities including the development of supportive housing options such as the Common Ground model, which combines affordable accommodation with on-site support services including health, education and employment.

In her report, Ms Haggerty writes “when comparing homelessness in Tasmania with homelessness in American communities, or with other States and Territories within Australia, the numbers of those experiencing homelessness are not great, nor overwhelming. Ending homelessness is a solvable problem. The keen sense of community that exists in Tasmania, and the deeply felt ties that Tasmanians feel for each other, are very evident. It is this spirit of mutual concern, neighbourliness, and belief that a stable home is necessary to have a fair chance at a life of stability and contribution that can animate a successful whole-of-community response to homelessness in Tasmania.”

Ms Haggerty’s recommendations will provide a solid basis for the Government’s plan to halve primary homelessness by the end of 2010 and to address the other categories of homelessness, including the secondary homelessness (people staying temporarily with friends or relatives or in crisis accommmodation) and tertiary homelessness (people living long-term in boarding houses). The Government will adapt her ideas to develop uniquely Tasmanian solutions to homelessness that deliver practical results in the Tasmanian community.

The Government has developed a Tasmanian homelessness plan, in close consultation with all levels of government, the business and the community sectors.

The Government has already committed an additional $60 million dollars to increase the supply of public housing and has identified sites for Tasmania’s first ‘Common Ground’ housing development to provide accommodation for long-term homeless and low income Tasmanians.


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Further information:

Social Inclusion Unit
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Phone: 03 6232 7139
Fax: 03 6233 2242