The Catholic Church in Tasmania has developed a new building and construction social enterprise that will provide employment opportunities and deliver wellbeing supports for young Tasmanians and their families.

St Joseph Affordable Homes will provide trade apprenticeships in a range of construction areas, gained through an in-house apprenticeship and life-coaching scheme. The social and affordable home building programs of CatholicCare Tasmania and Centacare Evolve Housing will provide the building projects for St Joseph Affordable Homes, allowing regular intakes of apprentices annually to support the construction of more than 100 homes.

“One of the great contributions that our social service agency CatholicCare has made to Tasmania has been the development of affordable and social housing. Being able to provide for the needs of people who haven’t got homes or can’t afford to buy their own has been a true reflection of the mission of the Church,” said Archbishop Julian Porteous.

“CatholicCare Tasmania and Centacare Evolve Housing have lead the way in the delivery of much needed new social and affordable housing in Tasmania. St Joseph Affordable Homes will provide a further opportunity to enhance the outcomes achieved in this area whilst providing employment outcomes for a number of new apprentices looking to enter the residential construction sector,” said St Joseph Affordable Homes CEO, Ben Wilson.

The new social enterprise is named after St Joseph, the foster father of Jesus Christ.

“St Joseph was a carpenter, and we’re trying to develop carpenters. Jesus himself would have learnt the trade of being a carpenter under his foster father, Joseph.

“Joseph and his young pregnant wife Mary went to Bethlehem to report for the census. When they arrived, all the accommodation was taken up and they had nowhere to stay. St Joseph is very appropriate to have his name associated with this work, but also to place it under his patronage,” Archbishop Porteous said.