Page 1994 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 28 June 2023

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ACT government to explore what it can do to support expediting the issue in the national context of banning engineered stone.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Housing ACT—application and assessment project update

Ministerial statement

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (10.12): I rise today to update the Assembly on the transformational work currently underway across Housing ACT in the Community Services Directorate to deliver a new application and assessment method for all people seeking to apply for social housing in the ACT.

Consistent feedback received by Housing ACT over the years has been that the pathway into social housing can be made harder by unnecessary roadblocks and hurdles, making the application process difficult for those already experiencing housing stress. The Community Services Directorate has listened to this feedback and invested in the creation of a new social housing application and assessment process to replace the inefficient and outdated systems that were making life harder for both people applying for public housing and Housing ACT staff. Housing ACT is implementing this new social housing application process from July 2023 to provide a fairer and more transparent process for every applicant.

Considerable community engagement has gone into the development of the new system, with more than 20 service providers, the Tenants Consultative Group, and other community groups representing the diversity of Canberra people, providing ideas for the improvement and feedback over a five-month period. This invaluable feedback has been used to design the new application and assessment process, and Housing ACT will carry out further consultation and service user testing before and after the system goes live. The result is a new application and assessment process for social housing in the ACT that is guided by client-centric principles, responsive to trauma, and operates under the Model Social Landlord Framework.

The new application form will be the first online service made available via the Housing ACT’s client engagement portal. The client engagement portal will allow users to securely transact, access and update their information in the portal. The application form contains a series of yes and no conditional questions which applicants will be guided through and where they will self-assess and respond to explain their need for social housing. For example, the applicant may be asked if they have a disability, health or medical condition that contributes to their housing needs, and it is only if they select “Yes” that they will be asked further questions so that Housing ACT can better understand the impact that this may have on their need for housing. These questions have been designed to give every applicant the opportunity to link their personal circumstances and how receiving social housing will meet their housing needs—factors that will impact on their place on the waitlist.

In contrast to a hardcopy form which must display all questions and sub-questions,
the online form will only display the questions relevant to the circumstances of an

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