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Housing affordability is a key issue that first brought my attention to the decisions and priorities coming out of the Hobart City Council. It’s common knowledge that this is a complex issue with many factors coming into play, with levers at all levels of government.

Locally, given that all new homes and hotels are filtered through the Council’s planning rules and processes, the Council holds considerable power when it comes to housing supply. I am highly disturbed by the number of new homes which are voted against by some elected members, despite them being recommended for approval.

I believe that some people apply an inherent anti-development filter to the extreme. Why do we have certain councilors voting with such frequency against homes that are recommended for approval as they satisfy planning requirements? Do the Council’s own highly qualified planning officers have their recommendations wrong? Does the councilor have a gripe with the planning scheme, not the development itself? Or do they simply not 'like' the development, or any development?

If elected, I would advocate for:

  • addressing Hobart's reputation as a place that is notoriously difficult build new homes in by providing greater certainty around what type of development is and is not likely to be supported

  • increasing the supply of inner city housing, including higher density apartment living (in keeping with the heights of existing developments) in the inner CBD and medium density housing, particularly along the corridor from the city towards North Hobart

  • identifying Council-owned land that can be used for housing, including temporary housing solutions on shorter leases through to longer term leases up to 99 years

  • inclusionary zoning requirements to support affordable housing for large scale projects

  • developer contributions policy for large scale projects where a portion of the funds are quarantined for housing and homelessness initiatives

  • an open-door approach to welcoming innovative housing ideas and planning queries, including the presence of dedicated walk-in planning helpdesk in the Hobart City Council office

  • elected members who vote against developments recommended for approval by Council planning experts being required to provide a brief statement outlining the rationale for their rejection

  • implementing service standards for planning and building matters which include prompt response timeframes to minimise frustration and lost time and money

  • fast-track assessment of housing developments and discounted rates and fees where a housing development is offered for rent below the Hobart median for a period of at least two years

  • formal arrangements with bulk accommodation owners, such as the University of Tasmania, that address emergency housing situations,. For example, where people were required to lockdown at home during the COVID-19 pandemic but there are people without a home with nowhere to go yet there was an abundance of student accommodation sitting empty

  • discounted rates program for ancillary dwellings (such as self-contained flats that form part of a principal place of residence) are rented as a residential tenancy for period of at least two years where the property has not been rented long-term for at least the 12 months prior

  • a short-stay permit buy-back scheme where property owners are refunded all costs associated with the permit if the property is to be offered for long-term rent for a period of at least 12 months

  • (if the Council's plan to ban the issuing of short-stay permits is rejected by the Tasmanian Planning Commission), exploring density limits for short-stay in residential areas and removing the ability for foreign parties to be able to access a short-stay visitor accommodation permit

  • increasing in-kind support for homeless prevention, action and support initiatives

  • Council proactively working with the private and community sector to identify areas and concepts for pod/capsule-style shelter for people who are sleeping rough

  • expanding infrastructure to support people without a home, such as offering storage lockers and improving access to 24 hour toilets, showers and electricity.


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