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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 9 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 3766..


MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Hunter.

MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, has a peer support program been implemented, as was recommended by the Working together document?

MR CORBELL: I would be happy to take the question on notice.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Attorney, has the government's broken promise to build a secure mental health facility led to the high number of prisoners at the CSU?

MR CORBELL: No. The forensic medical centre is for prisoners who are required to be detained in custody for extended periods because of their specific mental health conditions. It is inevitably the case that you will have prisoners in the mainstream prison population who also suffer from mental illness, and you need to manage those issues in the short term in the mainstream prison setting whilst you always provide for those prisoners who have specific psychiatric conditions that require them to be in a forensic mental health facility for longer periods.

Public housing—ownership

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the minister for housing. Minister, could you please update the Assembly on progress with government schemes enabling public housing tenants to buy their own homes?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Hargreaves for his continued interest in social housing. I am pleased to say that government schemes that support public housing tenants to purchase the homes in which they live has been well received. Last year we saw the commencement of the shared equity scheme. Under that scheme, tenants purchase a minimum of 70 per cent of the value of the home that they are buying. The outstanding equity share is then paid off over 15 years—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, Ms Burch! One moment, please. Stop the clocks, thank you. Members, gratuitous insults across the chamber are entirely inappropriate and they are certainly unparliamentary. Minister Burch.

MS BURCH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Under the shared equity scheme, tenants purchase a minimum of 70 per cent of the value of the home. The outstanding equity share is paid off over 15 years, with an initial payment in the first five years. The amount paid is based on the market value at the time of payment.

The Community Services Directorate is delivering the scheme with IMB, who provide mortgage finance to people purchasing their dwellings under the shared equity scheme. So far 19 tenants have been assisted through this program and a number of approaches from tenants have not proceeded to sale, mainly due, for example, to


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