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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 4801..


Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Housing—affordability

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (8:08): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) is concerned about the lack of affordable housing available to households earning below the median income;

(2) notes that the:

(a) ACT Government will conduct a review of its Affordable Housing Action Plan before the end of 2010;

(b) Affordable Housing Action Plan and its progress reports lack clear definitions and measures of affordable housing; and

(c) ACT Government has publicly been using terminology and measures which fail to reflect what is affordable for households that earn below the median income, including the costs of running a house; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) commit to using affordable housing related terminology and measures which reflect the position of those households that earn below the median income; and

(b) include in its Affordable Housing Action Plan review:

(i) a definition for "affordable housing", which incorporates running costs such as utilities bills; and

(ii) assessments against measures, such as the 30/40 rule as used by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, that provide a more accurate reflection of housing stress and housing affordability in the ACT.

Over the last 10 years there has been a growing problem with housing affordability in the ACT. House prices and rents have increased at high rates leaving many people, especially those who earn below the median income, in difficult positions. We have also seen over the last 10 years an ongoing discourse about housing affordability and the strategies that should be used to assist in overcoming the market values that exist.

Today I move a motion that seeks to address one of the latest problems we have been seeing in the affordable housing debate—that is, the terminology and measures which are referred to the government in public discourse. The Greens are concerned, as are others, that the government's understanding of what constitutes affordable housing no longer reflects that which has been felt by those in the community who suffer the highest levels of housing stress.


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