Today activists from the Grassroots Action Network Tasmania (GRANT) have staged a protest at the office of Federal Housing Minister and Labor Member for Franklin Julie Collins about the need to address the rental crisis in Tasmania.
The group, many of whom have at times been forced to live in cars and makeshift accommodation as a result of the rental crisis, have signalled that they intend to take the fight directly to the housing minister for renters across Hobart, Tasmania, and right around the country.
“Tasmania’s rental crisis is a complete disaster. The government is trying to ram through a housing policy that does nothing to immediately alleviate the situation, and we are here to say that Tasmanian renters aren’t going to let that happen without a fight.” said organiser Amy Booth.
The rental crisis is being felt across Australia, but is particularly pronounced in Hobart which is one of the least affordable places to live as a renter in the country.
“Almost 30% of households in Hobart are rentals – homes of people with few rights, and no protections from rising rents. Many of them are one rent increase away from being evicted. In Julie Collin’s own electorate of Franklin, 35.8% of rentals were already in rental stress at the last census and rents have only risen since then. It’s a complete betrayal to continue to ignore renter’s struggles – they have the power to change our lives, but are choosing not to” said organiser Danny Carney.
“We demand that Julie Collins and her Labor party colleagues take immediate action on addressing the rental crisis. We’re joining the chorus of others asking for rent caps, an end to no-cause evictions, direct investment in public housing, and increases to welfare so that people can afford to rent their homes and put food on the table at the same time.” said Amy Booth.
“To those in the senate that are still opposing Labor’s housing bill we say this: do not give up until the government agrees to look after the 30% of Australians who are renting their home through the worst rental crisis in generations.”