Page 2841 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 October 2022

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MS ORR: Minister, how are these new homes changing lives?

MS BERRY: Common Ground is building a community around the tenants and the suburb of Dickson in small ways and in big ways and will change the lives of tenants. Many of the tenants who live at Common Ground have experienced chronic homelessness, living in insecure and unaffordable housing. Some of the tenants have moved from shelters and other emergency accommodation and are able to have more permanent and supported homes in Common Ground Dickson. To support tenants, Community Housing Canberra will be a fantastic partner, providing a wholistic service model, including tenancy support and property management services for all the residents in the new complex.

As part of the arrangements, CHC will partner with the YWCA Canberra to deliver a range of onsite services and to support individual tenant needs. This includes things like education opportunities, employment, financial support, as well as mental and physical health. The services that both CHC and YWCA will provide will be integral to the community that will develop at Common Ground Dickson. The YWCA will be providing those critical support services that will enable residents who live at Common Ground to stay connected. With both organisations working together this gives the tenant at Common Ground Dickson the real chance at a good and happy life. More than just supports, Common Ground is safe and secure long-term housing for many of its residents. It is located centrally. It has a strong focus on community and communal spaces and it provides even more opportunities to stay and connect with their local community.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how do projects like this support the delivery of the ACT’s housing strategy?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Pettersson for his supplementary. This project supports the ACT government’s commitment to provide secure housing options for households from all incomes and to growing the supply of affordable rentals across the ACT through our investment in community housing. Delivering on several actions within the housing strategy, this development supports the Common Ground model in Canberra and provides community housing with long-term leases to grow and support the sector.

In addition to Common Ground Dickson, the ACT government is in the middle of the largest investment to increase and improve public housing in the history of self-government and to provide central housing for low income Canberrans at risk of homelessness. Over the last two budgets the ACT government has committed over $140 million to public housing maintenance. This funding has seen a significant boost in the public housing maintenance budget. Housing programs will also see an additional 400 public housing dwellings built, this is equivalent to 10 Common Grounds, and another one thousand properties renewed.

Madam Speaker, the housing strategy is delivering on all aspects of the housing continuum, with increased support for homelessness services through the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement. The ACT is the strongest supporter of public housing, with the highest ratio of public housing in the country, providing

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