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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 8 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 2320..

Housing—home ownership initiatives

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (4.49): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the 2013-2014 Budget delivers a package of initiatives aimed at making home ownership more achievable for more Canberrans;

(b) this package includes:

(i) an increase in the First Home Owner Grant to $12,500 from 1 September 2013. The grants will be retargeted to new and substantially renovated properties from 1 September 2013;

(ii) expansion to the Home Buyer Concession Scheme—the income threshold will rise from $150,000 to $160,000;

(iii) an increase in the property threshold up until which a full concession is available to $425,000, with a partial concession for properties valued up to $525,000;

(iv) retargeting of the Land Rent Scheme to lower income households;

(v) new dwelling sites in Belconnen, Gungahlin, North Canberra, South Canberra, Woden, Molonglo and Tuggeranong through the Land Release Program; and

(vi) delivers high quality services to Canberra; and

(2) supports the initiatives being delivered by the ACT Government aimed at making home ownership more affordable.

Housing affordability continues to challenge governments around the country. It is a challenge this government has addressed head on and one against which significant progress has been made over the last six years. Based on many indicators, the ACT would appear to be one of the most affordable capital cities for housing in Australia. For example, the Real Estate Institute of Australia's last housing affordability report says that the proportion of average household income needed to service the average mortgage is 18.7 per cent in Canberra.

This is compared to the national average of 30.4 per cent. However, these indicators, based on Canberra's high average incomes, can mask the impact that continuing demand—continuing high demand—for housing has on many Canberrans that may not have such a high income. That is why 12 months ago this government released the third phase of our affordable housing action plan and, at the same time, announced a major program of tax reform, which is making significant improvements to housing affordability in the territory.

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