Almost half of the 4006 public housing applications in Tasmania are single and two-parent families with young children

Anita Dow asked the government how many of the 4006 on public housing waiting lists are children during Question Time in Hobart.
Anita Dow asked the government how many of the 4006 on public housing waiting lists are children during Question Time in Hobart.

Hundreds of teenagers are caught up in Tasmania's housing crisis, sitting alongside thousands of families with young children who continue to wait for suitable public housing.

Housing minister Michael Ferguson has revealed that there are 241 applicants aged between 16 and 18 on Tasmania's public housing list, representing six per cent on the list, while almost half of the 4006 applicants are families with young children.

Labor's housing spokeswoman Anita Dow said the number of children languishing on public housing waiting lists was completely unacceptable.

She said the Liberals refuse to acknowledge the realities of the waitlist and the devastating impact it is having on Tasmanian families.

"The numbers revealed by Minister Ferguson today are absolutely devastating," Ms Dow said.

"We now know almost half the people on the waitlist have children, these are families that will be forced to wait more than 55 weeks to get a roof over their head.

"While Mr Gutwein and Mr Ferguson try to spin their way out of responsibility the fact is the housing wait list sits at 4,006 and this Government has had seven years to fix it."

But Mr Ferguson has accused Labor of political point scoring, stating that not all people on waiting lists are without homes.

"The majority of these are already housed in some capacity and are applying to move into more appropriate, or longer term housing," Mr Ferguson said.

"The Government understands the importance of secure accommodation and a place to call home and that is why we have committed a record investment of $615 million into increasing public and affordable housing supply, and homelessness initiatives," he said.

"But to misrepresent the facts purely to score political points does nothing to help those in need of support, and just shows that Labor is more interested in playing politics than addressing the issue."

He said the government was also investing $15.3 into youth homelessness initiatives."