Only yesterday, the State Government announced the provision of services for up to 100 homeless Tasmanians, but I am concerned at reports today revealing the Labor-Green Government is set to withdraw funding for the provision of rental support and assistance programs at the end of June. Service providers Anglicare and Centacare are concerned that on 30 June, when the current financial year ends, the funding for the Private Rental Support Service and the Private Rental Tenancy Support Service could cease.
Unless this funding commitment is given, the Labor-Green Government will be giving with one hand and taking with the other.
The loss of these services would be a huge blow to struggling families and would threaten the Government's attempt to halve the rate of homelessness by the end of the year. Prevention is better than cure and where the opportunity exists to prevent families and individuals becoming homeless, we should be ensuring the resources and services are there to do so.
The last DHHS progress report showed there is a 19 week wait for public housing for people in category 1. Lists are getting longer and the number of people waiting who are actually housed is falling, making the work of service providers such as Anglicare and Centacare all the more important.
Struggling Tasmanians and service providers need certainty that these services can continue into the future. The State Government should make a clear commitment that such services are not under threat and the funding will continue.