LAUNCESTON’S historic Thyne building has been reborn as long-term accommodation for young people and is regarded as leading edge nationally.
It is nearly 12 months since the building, most recently the home of the former Tasmanian School of Fine Furniture, underwent a $6 million makeover to transform it into long-term housing for 16- to 24-year-olds.
The heritage-listed “Thyne House” has become the centrepiece of a program in the North to provide homes for young people who would struggle to house themselves.
Funding for the developments, including another Launceston site in Thistle Street, has come from Housing Tasmania and the federal government’s Nation Building economic stimulus package.
Community Housing Limited state manager Brett Wake said that his company now ran the two sites as landlords, while Anglicare ran the support and training programs for residents who needed life skills training.
“Thyne House has provided us with a way of providing accommodation for this age group built around a community hub,” Mr Wake said.
The renamed Thyne House now has 30 self-contained one-bedroom and studio units, each with a kitchen and ensuite.
But there is also a commercial kitchen that is used as a training facility and a gymnasium available for community and residents’ use, he said.
People offered a home for low-cost rent have been identified as those who need stability in life to avoid homelessness, Mr Wake said.
There are also residents from outside Launceston who would struggle to afford private rental, as well as young people with jobs or job training looking for a home, he said.
“We’ve tried to keep a mix of residents so that there are not stereotypes,” Mr Wake said.
“These are young people who need a home, it’s not student accommodation.”
Mr Wake said that community housing projects that catered directly for young people were not common around Australia.
“Thyne House is on the leading edge of the community housing model,” he said.
The main building has a communal dining room as well as the commercial kitchen, a common lounge area and laundry as well as rooms for on-site training and education.
It has numerous outdoor spaces, gardens and terraces as well as a caretaker’s cottage that is used as the front office and on-site manager’s accommodation.
The new Thistle Street site for 18-year-olds and over has 19 units including three studio units, 12 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units.
Each of them is self contained with its own kitchen, but designed in such a way that some units can be joined together to create two or even four-bedroom accommodation.
It also has communal areas, including common kitchen and dining areas and an outside barbecue.
“The Thistle Street property provides long-term accommodation to a range of people, including some who have previously experienced homelessness and a small number of people who have support needs,” Mr Wake said.
“Tenants are selected based on their ability to live independently in this type of environment – residents are required to sign a tenancy agreement, pay rent and be good neighbours.”
Community Housing Limited state co-ordinator Leonnie Hyde and tenancy administrator Jennifer Harris at the revamped Thyne building, now a home to young people in need. Pictures: GEOFF ROBSON
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