Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 24 March 2022) . . Page.. 600 ..
project has obviously had some setbacks in relation to this change of delivery mechanism, and I will update the Assembly in due course on a new completion date.
Public housing—applicants data
MR BRADDOCK: My question is to the Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services. Minister, we know that certain culturally and linguistically diverse communities have faced increased barriers and tracking outcomes is a vital step toward solving inequality. It can be said if you do not count it, you cannot see it, and if you cannot see it, you cannot make sure the service addresses the specific needs. What demographic data is collected on CALD community members who are on housing waiting lists?
MS VASSAROTTI: Thank you to Mr Braddock for the question. I think it is a really important question because you are right that if we do not actually understand the needs of our tenants and our prospective tenants, we will have difficulty responding to their needs. Certainly, a range of information is collected about prospective tenants and tenants once they are actually a part of public housing.
So as part of the application process for public housing assistance, applicants are asked to provide details on information such as country of birth, preferred language, and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander identity for all members of the household. As of 23 March 2022, 23 per cent of all current housing clients—and that includes tenants, residents and applicants—were born in a country other than Australia.
For those who are currently applying for public housing or have been placed on a public housing waiting list, the proportion is slightly higher—22 per cent—than for residents that are currently in public housing, which is 22 per cent. The proportion of clients who prefer to speak a language other than English is 9 per cent overall.
And again, it is slightly higher for applicants, at 13 per cent, than for residents of tenancies—that is 8 per cent. I know that you did not ask this bit of the question but the proportion of clients who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is consistently at 10 per cent across tenants, residents and applicants as well.
MR BRADDOCK: Minister, can you explain steps being taken to reduce barriers to access for public housing for CALD communities?
MS VASSAROTTI: Thank you, Mr Braddock, for the question. Look, there is a significant body of work that is happening in relation to ensuring that we reduce barriers for all clients, particularly those that might be facing particular disadvantage and there is a really important piece of work going on in relation to reimagining the gateway process. So that is really coming in to have a look at the public-facing community services website where many public housing tenants and prospective tenants have significant engagement. So we are really looking to see that that is client-centric and really provides appropriate pathways and supports as the entry point for online service delivery.