Tasmanians have been urged to show more compassion and stop their “NIMBY” attitude towards affordable housing projects designed to alleviate the state’s spiralling housing crisis. Source: The Mercury.
The state’s peak emergency housing organisation says some Tasmanians have adopted a “not in my backyard” mindset – despite 8000 Tasmanian households living in housing stress.
Shelter Tasmania chief executive officer Pattie Chugg said the chronic shortfall in affordable housing required urgent delivery of homes across all suburbs and regions, yet community backlash was preventing some developments from progressing.
“In contrast to the welcome generosity many people have shown, we are seeing NIMBY responses objecting to the prospect of affordable housing developments in their neighbourhoods,” she said.
Ms Chugg said every home not built meant someone was missing out on the home they need. “We need to remember that all homes are built in someone’s backyard.”
The state’s largest builder of affordable housing, Centacare Evolve Housing, has faced community opposition over two projects recently – one at Scamander and one at Blackmans Bay.
The organisation’s chief executive Ben Wilson appealed for people to be inclusive.
“In a market where Tasmania has become the most unaffordable state in Australia for renters, the importance of providing new stock is critical and urgent, we need support from communities to share the opportunity to live safely, inclusively and productively with new neighbours,” he said.
Centacare Evolve is currently building 238 social and affordable housing dwellings across Tasmania, in conjunction with the state and federal governments.
Ms Chugg said the NIMBY attitude was evident when a recent proposal for affordable housing at Scamander was stymied.
“Disappointingly, in light of the need faced by so many Tasmanians, a recent proposal of only eight units was greeted with community backlash,” she said.
The eight-unit affordable housing complex at Scamander was planned to meet some of the growing need on the East Coast. There are 200 people on a waitlist for affordable housing in the Break O’Day municipality.
Centacare Evolve Housing abandoned the Scamander project last month, following community concern public space would be lost and the development would become a “ghetto” which attracted the “wrong crowd”.