Independent Member for Clark, Kristie Johnston, has accused the government of failing vulnerable Tasmanians, including many who are forced to sleep in their cars each night due to the state’s worsening housing crisis.
“We are in the depths of a bitterly cold winter and currently my office is working desperately hard to help people find appropriate shelter. These are people who through no fault of their own have ended up in these appalling situations,” Ms Johnston said.
“One woman who escaped 10 years of domestic violence has been living in her car for six months. When I asked her how she is coping with basic sanitary needs she sadly replied “baby wipes are my best friend”.
“Another man on a disability support pension due to an acquired brain injury has developed leg ulcers from having to sit up in his car to sleep each night. A young single mother will be homeless in a matter of weeks when her lease expires. This is totally unacceptable,” Ms Johnston said.
Ms Johnston said her office has written to the Housing Minister on nine occasions since May seeking updates and advice, only to receive one written reply which contained incorrect information.
“A number of these people have been on the priority list for over three years and are doing everything asked of them. They are told to engage with Housing Tasmania regularly, ring emergency shelters daily, have a broad range of suburbs selected in their applications, request a case worker, and so on. They are incredibly frustrated and don’t know what else they can do.”
“We read the government’s glossy announcements spruiking roofs over stadiums and brand new bridges. How about roofs over people’s heads and bridges out of homelessness for real Tasmanians?” Ms Johnston said.