Neighbourhood Houses began in Tasmania in the late 1970s when the first Houses commenced operation. Since then, the number has increased as the benefits were recognised. Today 33 Neighbourhood Houses are funded by the Department under its Community Support Program.
What happens at Neighbourhood Houses?
Originally Neighbourhood Houses provided services such as playgroup and child minding facilities, craft courses and a social meeting point. Today, they offer a range of programs based on community resources and need.
The range of activities run by Houses includes social projects, celebrations and events. These will depend on the House and Community, but typically include:
- community gardens, family and school holiday activities, adult and youth literacy programs, men's and/or community sheds, vocational training, healthy eating and cooking classes, community transport, computer and IT skill training, fund raising, health promotion, market days, and volunteer opportunities.
The Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania Inc is the peak body for Neighbourhood Houses in Tasmania.
Importance of Neighbourhood Houses
The Neighbourhood House Program is a cornerstone of the Department's community development strategy. Houses work as community run organisations building community capacity in socially isolated and disadvantaged local areas. Houses are funded to provide a local structure for:
- responding to community needs
- representing community views
- delivering community programs and/or services
- building community capacity.
The Tasmanian Neighbourhood House program includes three agreed statewide goals and a governance structure, to be achieved or worked towards with local populations:
- building community
- supporting people and their families
- enhancing choices
- community-led governance.