Housewarming boxes provide winter relief Sun 5 August 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Rebecca White Parliamentary Secretary for the Cost of Living Therese Taylor CEO, Colony 47 Download hi-res version A Tasmanian Government partnership with Colony 47 is delivering cost of living support straight to the front door of low-income Tasmanians. The Premier, Lara Giddings, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Cost of Living, Rebecca White, said $200,000 had been provided to allow Colony 47 to distribute 'housewarming boxes' statewide. The boxes are designed to assist with the daunting task of moving house and contain items such as dust and draught tape, door sausages, hot water bottles and rugs, along with kitchen, laundry and food essentials. Items such as curtains and blankets are also available. "Finding and establishing a new home can be difficult and expensive, particularly when you are on a limited income or the situation has been forced upon you," Ms Giddings said. "These packages aim to ease some of the cost burden of moving, while also helping low income Tasmanians stay warm over winter and settle into their new surroundings. "We are proud support this is a great initiative being driven by Colony 47. "The State Government has allocated significant funds for cost of living initiatives and wherever possible, we want to work in partnership with NGOs to ensure that our assistance is targeted to where it is needed most. "This complements our work helping to drive down the cost of power for tenants on low incomes in public and private housing. "Survey results from Housing Tasmania's 100 Energy Champions program have shown tenants saving an average $300 per year after an energy assessment and efficiency upgrades. Colony 47 CEO, Therese Taylor, said she was pleased the value of the housewarming boxes program had been recognised and that the program could be extended. "Colony 47 has been helping people deal with the stresses of settling into a new rental property for a long time. One of the ways that we make life easier for tenants is through providing the housewarming boxes," Ms Taylor said. "The Tasmanian Government's funding allows Colony 47 to increase the range of products contained in each box and, importantly, to increase supply to over 1 300 new tenants across the State." The Parliamentary Secretary for the Cost of Living, Rebecca White said the housewarming boxes are just one element of the State Government's strategy to tackle cost of living issues this winter. Brochures are now being distributed through Neighbourhood Houses and non-government organisations outlining the range of support measures available to Tasmanians struggling with the cost of living, along with details of where to go for assistance. "The State Government is providing $1.5 million over 2011-13 to increase emergency relief. And another $1 million is being distributed through the Food For All Tasmanians grants program to increase access to healthy, safe and affordable food," Ms White said. "We have also provided $180 000 to the NILS Network of Tasmania in order to help Tasmanians purchase energy efficient heaters and appliances. "Of course, we have also spent $37 million to reduce power bills for all Tasmanians while increasing the indexation for concessions for pensioners and health care card holders." For more information about the housewarming program, contact Colony 47 on 1800 265 669.