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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4942 ..

these agencies and other external key stakeholders to ensure that the 84 objectives within the Plan are implemented in the most targeted and effective way. In addition to the monitoring and reporting against the explicit targets within the plan, there is ongoing monitoring of the key affordability indicators of house prices, first home buyer numbers, income to house price ratios, income to rent ratios and land prices.

2. The ACT Government defines affordable housing as housing that is safe, appropriate and accessible and where housing services are purchased for 30 per cent or less of a household’s gross income. Housing stress occurs when a households housing services costs exceed 30 per cent of gross income. The Government collects and reviews data on household incomes, house prices and weekly rents across the territory.

3. The ACT Government uses gross income as it is a widely recognised measure both nationally and internationally. It is also used by Housing ACT to set public housing rents.

4. The tables in the Steering Group Report are based on ACT Planning and Land Authority (ACTPLA) data and unpublished ABS income data commissioned by the ACT Government in 2007. Updates have been received from ACTPLA for the latest house price and rental distribution across the Territory while updates to the ABS income data will be commissioned as part of a full review of the Affordable Housing Action Plan to take place before the end of 2010.

5. The precise income levels and percentiles are yet to be calculated. Work has focussed specifically on the various income thresholds at which households are able to enter public housing, community housing, the private rental market or home purchase. Based on the analysis, households in the private rental market earning between $35,000 and $65,000 are in the most housing stress. A full analysis will take place as part of the full review of the Affordable Housing Action Plan to take place before the end of 2010.

6. Households on median income in the ACT are able to privately rent a typical 3 or 4 bedroom home or purchase a median priced home without experiencing housing stress.

Libraries—book return chutes(Question No 1071)

Ms Le Couteur asked the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, upon notice, on 26 August 2010:

(1) What is the new system for returning library books to ACT libraries via a chute, involving scanning a library card in order to access the chute, and why was this new system introduced.

(2) Is the new system permanent or is there a trial period.

(3) Are there any cost savings associated with this new system.

(4) What work was done prior to introducing the policy to assess how it would work, and what consultation was done with patrons.

(5) Has the Government received patron feedback on the new system and how is this being taken into account.

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