Today in Parliament, I asked the Premier to acknowledge that there are hundreds of houses standing empty in Tasmania, and to consider an empty house tax to incentivise property owners to either sell or rent these empty homes.
The full question:
Premier, The Tenants’ Union of Tasmania recently released data from Taswater that showed that there were 192 residential properties across the Hobart City Council municipality that had a “high chance” of vacancy, 115 in the neighbouring Glenorchy City Council and 256 in Launceston City Council. These properties used less than 10% of the average household water consumption for three consecutive years.
That is 563 inner-city residential properties that sat empty during a housing crisis! And if you were to conservatively extrapolate these numbers across the state there is potentially almost 2000 sitting empty.
In Vancouver and Melbourne, homes left empty for more than 6 months without a reasonable excuse (significant renovations, selling, on holiday etc) are charged 1 per cent of the value of the property.
Premier, do you recognise that there are thousands of Tasmanian sleeping rough every night right now, and will you introduce an empty house tax as one way of incentivising an immediate increase in supply?
Every day this week in Parliament I’ve asked a question of the Government trying to get an acknowledgement that there is a housing crisis now that needs solutions now. However the Premier has refused to consider options to put roofs over heads immediately.
Instead he says he will deliver homes in 10 years. Well with this Government’s track record of failing to keep its promises you’ll excuse me for being highly sceptical!”