There is no denying this year many women, men and children are doing it tough. This week marks Homelessness Week in Australia from 2-8 August. In Hobart, CatholicCare Tasmania is hosting a tour of its nearly completed social housing site in Claremont. This brand-new development will host 55 two-bedroom homes for people over 55 years of age; a growing cohort of people facing housing insecurity and homelessness in Tasmania. Archbishop Julian Porteous is a special guest at the event. The Claremont build is part of the Hobart City Deal. CatholicCare Tasmania is committed to delivering to this plan by facilitating a more diverse, affordable and inclusive housing mix to provide choices to meet Tasmania’s changing lifestyle and population needs. “We are well ahead of schedule to deliver this project through the support of the Tasmanian Government and our capable local construction industry. Last week we finished the first 15 homes, and we expect the site to be ready later in the year. This initiative is taking people aged over 55 directly off waitlist. Importantly, we will also have four homes for people with disabilities” said CEO of Centacare Evolve Housing, Ben Wilson. Following research into social needs of residents, CatholicCare Tasmania is trialling a Lead Tenant model at the site to support residents to connect with one another, proactively preventing potential isolation and strengthening social connections. The site includes plans for a community garden to be co-designed with residents. “We are working closely with the Federal and Tasmanian Governments to deliver more social and affordable housing in the state, but our delivery goes beyond the coordination of building houses. We are creating sustainable communities with wellbeing, health and safety as focus areas for our impact.” said Mr Wilson. Kay Dolman, a CatholicCare Tasmania resident at the ‘Buenos Aires’ site in South Hobart, says the service is inclusive of people often neglected from other housing services. “I think the perception out there is you’ve got to have problems to need social housing,” Kay Dolman said, challenging this perception and confirming that a primary reason people face housing insecurity and homelessness is because there are not enough affordable housing options in Tasmania. This year CatholicCare Tasmania reflects on 60 years of service in the Tasmanian community, working across the state striving to give all Tasmanians a place to call home. “We have delivered 222 new social and affordable dwellings during the last financial year, accounting for around eight per cent of construction activity in Tasmania, and importantly, with a focus to support the wellbeing of those living in social housing,” Mr Wilson stated. More housing and new jobs in Tasmania In addition to the upcoming opening of the Abbotsfield Road site this year, availability of housing for individuals, families and community wellbeing will be increasing significantly across the state. Centacare Evolve Housing is working with the Tasmania Government on the delivery of 1,000 new social housing dwellings by 2023. Up to 15 new apprenticeships will be created for job seekers in Tasmania through The Archdiocese of Hobart’s newly established social enterprise, St Joseph Affordable Homes. It aims to build 100 homes for CatholicCare Tasmania and Centacare Evolve Housing in the first 12 months. The project has attracted financial support to the tune of nearly $9 million to deliver new social and affordable housing for people living in Tasmania. “Supporting new job placements during Tasmania’s economic recovery through these apprenticeships is another pivotal and timely outcome of these construction projects for Tasmanians in need. We have received a number of very high calibre candidates which may result in an increase of apprentice intakes than originally projected,” Mr Wilson said.