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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3475..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

Jane's five bedroom property has since been offered to a family from the transfer list needing larger accommodation for their family of seven people, which includes five kids. Mr Assistant Speaker, this case study demonstrates how effectively housing assistance policy responds to changing needs.

Another example of flexible housing assistance is the provision of rental bond loans. The rental bond loan scheme can assist people on low to moderate incomes to rent suitable properties in the private sector through the provision of a loan for up to 80 per cent of the bond. The loan is repayable to Housing ACT. Rental bond loans can assist people to access housing who may have the desire and means to rent privately but who may not have the start-up costs associated. There are also people who choose not to access public housing. This initiative creates additional housing choices across the continuum of housing responses.

It is appropriate at this juncture to discuss other policy responses relating to appropriate housing. One element of this is the strengthening of the community housing sector. In April 2007 the government announced an expansion of community housing in the territory to increase the supply of affordable rental properties and dwellings in the ACT. Community housing is a small but important element of the social housing mix meeting important social needs and providing critical support to people experiencing housing stress. It provides an alternative to public housing and additional housing options in the system.

The expansion of community housing will see Community Housing Canberra become a major provider of affordable housing in the ACT. This is a not-for-profit company that operates both as a community housing asset manager as well as a provider of affordable housing.

The ACT government is providing Community Housing Canberra with an injection of equity of $40 million through the final transfer of title of 135 properties already under CHC's control which the company will leverage to increase the amount of available affordable housing.

The ACT government will also provide CHC with land at market prices, a revolving $50 million loan facility at government borrowing rates, $3.2 million of capital and a $250,000 annual capital subsidy for three years. In return, CHC will develop an additional 500 affordable dwellings over the next five years, increasing to more than 1,000 over the next 10 years. CHC will also offer a shared equity program to eligible tenants.

Implementation of the 62 initiatives contained in the government's affordable housing action plan is well advanced. The government has increased land supply to 3,400 in the 2007-08 year and mandated the delivery of house and land packages priced between $200,000 and $300,000.

It has also produced the own place initiative which allows eligible buyers to purchase quality built homes in Land Development Agency estates for under $300,000 and it has provided generous concessions to help first home buyers into the market, including the home buyer concession scheme, the deferred stamp duty payment scheme as well as the first home owners grant. The government has also introduced a

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