It has certainly been a busy few months here at SARC!
Our Rental Affordability Snapshot 2017, released in April, shone a light on the significant barriers faced by Tasmanians on low incomes in securing affordable private rent
als. We note with concern that, at the time of the Snapshot, the number of advertised rentals across the whole state was 14% fewer than last year, and 50% fewer than five years ago. This results in increasing levels of competition for properties which, coupled with increasing rents, puts affordable housing options well out of reach for many Tasmanians.
The campaign for poker machine reform is gaining momentum in the lead-up to the Joint Select Committee on Future Gaming Markets releasing their report in September. To help us drive change, please sign and share our Open Letter.
We have been working on another project examining the impact of changes to the way Centrelink interacts with people – the push to online access, the automation of communication, the changes to eligibility and compliance. We are capturing a picture of the impact these changes have on people who are particularly vulnerable and also the impact on other services systems that support them. The picture emerging from this work is compelling and we are currently working with our national Anglicare network to explore ways to amplify the advocacy potential of this project.
Thank you for your interest in our work. With your continued support, we work to create positive political, social and cultural change to bring about a just Tasmania.
Meg Webb, SARC Manager
Too Hard? Highly Vulnerable Teens in Tasmania Report Launch
Foregrounding the voices of highly vulnerable teens whose needs for care have fallen outside of families, between government agencies and between non-government services, this event will provoke discussion about the shape of both the immediate and long-term responses.
RSVP by registering here: too-hard-launch.eventbrite.com.au
For further information please contact Meg Webb: firstname.lastname@example.org
SBS TV show co-hosted by SARC Researcher
SARC Researcher and author of our most recent research report, Too Hard? Vulnerable Teens in Tasmania, Dr Catherine Robinson, co-hosts the new TV series Filthy Rich and Homeless on SBS.
Airing across three nights next week, the series follows five wealthy Australians who swap their privileged lifestyles for 10 days and nights living on the streets of Melbourne. The show aims to challenge preconceptions about homeless people and raise awareness about the plight of more than 100,000 Australians who are currently homeless.
To learn more about the show and the experience of homelessness, you can read Catherine’s article, Homelessness: The real housing crisis gripping Australia here.
Poker Machine Reform
The Tasmanian Parliament Joint Select Committee into Future Gaming Markets will release its report by the end of September this year.
Anglicare has made representations to the Joint Select Committee both as a service agency with frontline experience of helping people harmed by poker machines, and as a member of the Community Voice on Pokies Reform coalition. Our submissions and those of many other organisations and community members have presented overwhelming evidence of the personal, social and economic harms caused by poker machines. It is a significant achievement to have mobilised this level of engagement with a Parliamentary Committee process and to have this evidence on the public record.
Both major political parties have indicated that their position on this issue going forward will be informed by the Committee’s report.
There are still opportunities to support this campaign, especially with a State election in the offing. We encourage you to help us campaign for change by signing and sharing our open letter to the Premier. We are currently sitting just shy of our target of 5000 signatures, so please, add your voice to the thousands of other Tasmanians who would like to see a reduction in the harm caused by poker machines.
Rental Affordability Snapshot 2017
Every year in April, Anglicare Tasmania joins with Anglicare Australia and our national network to produce a Rental Affordability Snapshot (RAS).
The Rental Affordability Snapshot is designed to highlight the challenge of finding affordable private rental housing for those on a low income.
Our latest RAS was made public on Thursday 27 April and you can read the full report here.
Affordable and appropriate housing is fundamental to personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of communities because it is linked so closely to other factors such as the ability to access employment, education, transport, health services and social connections. RAS provides a tool to help us advocate with political parties on prioritising policy platforms that boost affordable housing options.
Experiences of accessing Centrelink: a case study of Anglicare clients and services
In recent years Centrelink has been making changes to the ways in which it interacts with people and delivers our social safety net. These changes have been made in the way people access support, the way communication is conducted by Centrelink, and in alterations to assessment processes, eligibility criteria and compliance measures for some benefits. While some of these changes can be seen as more convenient or efficient for many people interacting with Centrelink, we wondered what impact they might be having on those who are most vulnerable and experience particular challenges.
During recent months we have engaged in a piece of research exploring how these changes to our social safety net are impacting on vulnerable people who engage with Centrelink and also on the non-government services that support them.
A compelling picture is emerging from this research and SARC is exploring ways to best use our findings in advocating for change.
Stay tuned for further updates on the progress of this research and advocacy.