The St Vincent de Paul Society, in partnership with the Tasmanian Government and Centacare Evolve Housing, has announced a circa $10 million affordable home development for Smithton.
Rosalie Court will provide 28 modern, two-bedroom homes for low-income people over 55 years of age.
Centacare Evolve Housing Chief Executive Officer Ben Wilson said through partnerships with government and organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul Society, Centacare Evolve Housing was delivering effective housing and community programmes to support those in need from all backgrounds, beliefs, and circumstances.
“Centacare Evolve Housing is committed to investing in regional communities across Tasmania in an effort to improve access to social and affordable housing for Tasmanians,” he said.
“We are incredibly proud of this partnership project with the St Vincent de Paul Society, which will make a tangible difference to people in need.”
Mr Wilson said Centacare Evolve Housing and the St Vincent de Paul Society had made a long-term commitment to Circular Head, and looked forward to increasing their presence in the community.
“We are working closely with Council to identify areas of need, and progress developments, which includes Rosalie Court in Smithton,” he said.
Rosalie Court is the namesake of Rosalie Rendu, one of the founders of the St Vincent de Paul Society.
St Vincent de Paul Society Tasmania Chief Executive Officer Lara Alexander said the organisation had committed $2.5 million from the proceeds of the transfer of Mt St Vincent Nursing Home in Ulverstone in 2019.
“The Society’s State Council was committed to ensuring funds that came from the Northwest Coast were spent on a project in the region; specifically, on a project that benefitted people over 55 and with a focus on affordable housing,” she said.
“About the same time the Tasmanian Government announced its $200m Affordable Housing Strategy 2015-2025. The Society approached the Government to match our contribution so we could build more homes for vulnerable and low-income people over 55.”
Ms Alexander said the development was designed to create a sense of community and belonging for the residents.
“Situated within walking distance of the Smithton town centre and close to medical facilities, the development will offer peace of mind to those who choose to live there,” she said.
Ms Alexander said without partnership developments like Rosalie Court, the impact and cost of homelessness and those at risk of homelessness would continue to rise and become a challenge for the whole community.
“There are a lot of contributing factors that lead to housing insecurity – especially single women over 55 and low-income couples and families,” she said.
“Even if they have saved all of their lives, one major unexpected event in their lives, such as a medical emergency, can take a family from safe and secure to struggle street almost overnight.”
Minister for State Development Construction and Housing Michael Ferguson said the government was providing an investment into public housing and home affordability which would see 58 new dwellings in the Circular Head area.
“Tasmania, along with the rest of the country, has experienced phenomenal growth in the housing market resulting in increased housing costs, low vacancy rates and reduced availability,” he said.
“Ultimately, increasing housing supply is the only way to combat rising house prices and to get more Tasmanians into suitable homes.”
The Rosalie Court development will be completed by June 2023, subject to approval by the Circular Head Council.