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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 12 February 2008) . . Page.. 48 ..


Mrs Burke: If that is the best you can do on health—

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Burke, I warn you.

MR STANHOPE: if you have not dealt with bullying! We had the Liberal Party health policy encapsulated for us yesterday by the shadow Minister for Health, We will have not a thousand but an additional thousand hospital beds under a Liberal government and there will be no bullying. That is about the sum total of it. The program that has been outlined by the Minister for Health and described by the AMA as visionary has, of course, been completely dismissed by the opposition.

Mr Smyth: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I know that housing affordability is causing stress, but could you ask the Chief Minister how this relates to his own dixer?

MR SPEAKER: Order! That is not a point of order.

Mr Smyth: Well, I would have thought that under standing order 118 (a) it is.

MR SPEAKER: Chief Minister.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. In relation to Community Housing Canberra, another initiative of the affordable housing strategy which has been vigorously pursued by the ACT government, I think we are all aware of the potential which Community Housing has in dealing with issues around affordability, particularly for those groups of people who have an income that disqualifies them in terms of their capacity to access public housing but who nevertheless struggle or strive either to rent or to purchase their own home. It is that group of Canberrans who are not eligible, because of income limits, for public housing but who nevertheless are in the next tranche and would suffer significant stress as a result of purchasing or renting a house.

It is in that area that Community Housing has a very significant role to play. We recognise that through the housing affordability strategy. We have begun to implement the range of measures that we believe would set Community Housing Canberra up to deliver 1,000 over the next 10 years—a 10 per cent increase a year.

At the time the policy was announced Community Housing Canberra managed 19 properties. Since then we have transferred 142 properties into their ownership, giving them equity or a direct, straight capital injection of $40 million. We provided them also with cash or access to cash of $3 million. In the last week we have provided a loan facility of $50 million. We believe that through that arrangement—a massive capital injection through the ownership of 140 homes, access to cash, a revitalised and restructured board, a loan facility of $50 million and a priority in the delivery of land throughout Canberra—Community Housing Canberra will be well placed to provide 1,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years. This is a fantastic initiative that is being pursued through the housing strategy.


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