Page 1601 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022
networks, because that is the compromise that these women need to make to avoid homelessness.
Low income households reliant on the private rental market also have to compromise on the appropriateness of housing to be able to afford somewhere to call home. They may need to live in overcrowded accommodation or live in housing that is not adaptable or accessible to their physical needs. We know that the needs of Housing ACT tenants are changing and we need the public housing stock to reflect these changes—for example, through delivering more accessible and class C adaptable properties.
I thank Minister Vassarotti for the work she has done as ACT Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction in achieving mandatory accessibility standards in the National Construction Code so that all homes in future will be built with universal design standards. We know that our public housing stock is ageing. We need our public housing stock to be climate wise and energy efficient so that everyone can afford to heat and cool their home.
The ACT government is already responding to these challenges through the growth and renewal program by investing over a billion dollars to build 400 more properties and renew 1,000 properties, but if this historic debt is abolished, we will be able to do more. The provision of an energy-efficient class C adaptable property for each tenancy is life-changing and it is what our community deserves. Everyone needs a safe place that they can call home, one that they feel proud of and where they can live with dignity. We must do everything in our power to provide this to everyone who needs it here in the ACT. I commend the motion.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Early Childhood Development, Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Sport and Recreation and Minister for Women) (3.25): I feel like Mrs Jones has set the scene today for this motion, with a lot of really positive comments. There were a few pointed barbs as well from Mr Parton. I am thrilled that we have been able to come to a point today where we all support the direction for the government with regard to public housing in the ACT. It certainly has not always been the case, so I am thrilled today, as I said, that we have been able to get to this place. I thank Mrs Jones for setting up the vibe for this afternoon’s debate.
Mr Parton is right: we have discussed in this chamber before the challenges of addressing housing and rental affordability in Canberra and across Australia. The ACT government are getting on with the job of implementing our housing strategy, which has seen increased support for homelessness services, increased funding for social housing and a range of measures to increase the number of affordable rental and affordable home purchase opportunities in the ACT.
The need to address this challenge has been building for decades at every level of government in this country. The ACT government will continue to be guided by the ACT housing strategy. The ACT government’s housing strategy, which was developed with the housing sector community, the wider public and, importantly,