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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 3 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 937..


Housing—affordability

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Chief Minister and concerns the 20 per cent affordable housing target. Minister, does the affordable housing target apply to all new development in the ACT or is some development exempt from it?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. The target arrangements have changed a little over time, Ms Le Couteur, as you know. As we converted 15 per cent to 20 per cent we did take the opportunity at that stage, as we changed also the affordability threshold, to change some of the requirements in relation to the calculation of the 20 per cent in the first round that did not apply to unit developments on greenfields. We now apply it to unit developments on greenfield sites.

There have been some exceptions, Ms Le Couteur. For instance, it has not applied in all instances to land sold at the Kingston Foreshore. Over and above that I am not aware of other exemptions to the requirement for all greenfield sites to provide housing—house and land—at under $328,000. Yes, Ms Le Couteur, it is right to say that there have been some exceptions. I would wish to take on notice the reason for those. I am more than happy to do that and give you a full list of where exemptions may have applied and the reasons advanced for that.

In the broad, Ms Le Couteur, it is fair to say that the 20 per cent requirement applies generally to greenfield sites across the ACT. I am not aware, for instance, that it does not apply to any greenfield site that has been released in Gungahlin since the inception of the requirement. It applied at west Macgregor. It applies in Molonglo and it applies in north Weston. I am aware that there have been some occasions—and I am not entirely sure now of some of the justifications for that—but I will pursue that.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Le Couteur?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what mechanisms does the government use to ensure that the affordable housing target is met? Does the government use lease conditions or other controls such as within the planning regime?

MR STANHOPE: In relation to this particular aspect of the affordable housing strategy, Ms Le Couteur, there is, as I understand it, a rigorous process of ensuring that the requirement is met. We have been pursuing some of the issues that we believe are relevant to ensuring that the construction and delivery of the affordable product is being honoured with integrity by owners and developers. We are looking at whether or not we need to be perhaps a little bit more prescriptive in some of the rules around, for instance, the time in which—we are concerned about the possibility or the prospect of profiteering on affordable product. It is an issue that we have had some concern about in relation to the OwnPlace product—the opportunity to purchase a house for $328,000 and then, with significant movements in the market, to on-sell almost immediately.

We have, for instance, in relation to the latest OwnPlace rollout imposed a requirement that a house acquired under the OwnPlace program not be sold, I think it


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