Common Ground slowly making ground in Tasmania

Photo credit: liminalstudio.com.au

Photo credit: liminalstudio.com.au

When Hobart took the risk of tackling homelessness in a brand new way – based on New York’s ‘Common Ground’ model – they knew they’d be under the spotlight. More than three years on, Treasurer Peter Gutwein has written to Auditor-General Mike Blake asking him to review the model and, more specifically, its cost.

The 47-unit and 50-unit complexes have a tenant mix of at least 50 per cent low-income workers and up to 50 per cent people with a history of homelessness. Rent from low-income tenants is meant to cover the majority of the organisation’s costs and allow it to offer housing to formerly homeless people on income support.

Common Ground Tasmania’s managing director Liz Thomas has welcomed the investigation as an opportunity to develop realistic indicators for Common Ground’s success. “Every tenant that’s supported here was at risk of dying in the next five years if they weren’t housed,” says Thomas. “For me, keeping them alive is a big tick.”

Read the full story from The Mercury [here].