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Hobart’s northern suburbs have opened a special haven for single dads and their children.

Resident Torrin Bennett said he probably would not have custody of his son if it were not for the DIY Dad program, which is the first of its kind in Tasmania.

The re-developed accommodation currently holds seven men and their children in individual apartments. There is one vacancy and several men are on a waiting list, reports ABC news.

Mr Bennett has moved to the complex with his 15-month-old son.

“A mate of mine got me onto the program, and a couple of months later it couldn’t be easier,” Mr Bennett said.

“The dads here are really nice and willing to help when you need a hand — it’s really good to have that support. Basically I probably would not have had my son at all and would have been hanging around with the wrong crowd of people.”

Mr Bennett plans to go to TAFE and enter the workforce.

“I want to start off with teaching [my son] right from wrong, I want him to start picking up good things in life,” he said.

The Hobart City Mission’s John Stubley said there was a lack of accommodation for men and children in the capital.

“The City Mission saw the need for such an accommodation facility to provide fathers with the support to parent their children where they haven’t otherwise been able to do so,” he said.

“The men are from a range of circumstances, a lot of them are by definition are homeless, not sleeping rough but couch-surfing or living in temporary accommodation.”

Mr Stubley said there were huge benefits for the men to live near each other.

“The idea around the play area here and the common room is that it creates a space for dads to come,” he said.

“They can share war stories, experiences, and it will help them all grow.”

Human Services Minister Jacquie Petrusma said it would stop fathers losing their children to the child protection system.

“It enables them to have full custody and for them to learn skills and how to become a great dad and a great role model.”

Do you think there needs to be more of this across Australia?

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  • There are times when the wife leaves and doesn’t to see the children at all for a couple of years, then the house has to be sold to pay the Mother her share less part of the mortgage which the Dad then has to pay as well.

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  • this would be very encouraging for those dads! great to hear

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  • im glad there is something like this out there and hope there wil be some more spreading around. fathers are equal as mothers and they should be treated fair. as far as the mothers gets more advantage than fathers do, children are to be with whoever is at the best interest of the child’s wellbeing and health.Well done for this to be set up in tasmania. dad rocks!

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  • Yes, this is a good idea.

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  • I hope there is more of these built, also some in other states. I know a Dad who was basically locked out after discovering his wife was having an affair. He is a far better Dad to his children than their Mum will ever be a good Mum. He has been told his ex has more alcohol in the fridge than food and shown a photo one of them almost got caught taking. he recently took the children home early after a few hours “access” and the table was covered in alcohol bottles, several of them empty. At the moment he can’t afford to take her to court. It is pretty obvious how the child support is being spent. He is waiting for child welfare to do a random visit and assist him in getting custody and them living with a relative while he is at work – unfortunately a low paid one, but at least he is working and is actually paying extra child support.

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  • I think this is awesome – and so proud that it was developed in Tassie first.

    I know some single dads who don’t even get access to their children and if this had been around earlier might have prevented that.

    Hope the state govt’s look at this and bring it to the mainland to implement.

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  • Great initiative, sure would be great to have more of this across Australia !

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  • A fantastic idea that we should spread across Australia!

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  • Awesome idea. There’s so much available for single mums, good to see single dads getting a go

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  • What a great idea, a support community for them.

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  • Perhaps if somewhere like this had been around 30 years ago my dad wouldn’t have killed himself when our mum kicked him out and he had nowhere to go?

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