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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 November 2010) . . Page.. 5435 ..


The sale to tenant scheme aims to encourage higher income earning tenants to consider purchasing their home and gives Housing ACT an opportunity to refresh and review its housing stock, as money raised by the sale is reinvested in public housing stock. Sale to tenant is a wonderful example of how this government provides housing assistance across the continuum from crisis to home ownership.

Not all public housing properties are for sale under the scheme. Public housing tenants can apply only to purchase the home that they live in, for example. In regard to the properties sold under the sale to tenant scheme, in 2007 there were 54, in 2008 there were 17, in 2009 there were 29. So far this year there have been 13, with seven others still being active in that purchase stream. Public housing tenants also need to satisfy eligibility criteria. For example, they need to be head tenants and have been public housing tenants for at least three years. They are just two of the initiatives that we have in the ACT.

MS PORTER: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, can you inform the Assembly of any other initiatives within your portfolio that help Canberrans along the housing continuum?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her interest in public housing. The two schemes I have just mentioned are but some of the initiatives this government has implemented to support Canberrans along the housing continuum. One area where we have done a lot of work in recent years has been in strengthening the community housing sector. In April 2007, the government announced an expansion of community and affordable housing in the territory. Community housing is a small but important element of the social housing mix here in the ACT, meeting important social needs and providing critical support to people experiencing housing stress. It also provides an alternative to public housing and additional housing options in the system.

The expansion of community housing has seen Community Housing Canberra become a major provider of affordable housing in the ACT. This is a not-for-profit company that operates as both a community housing asset manager as well as a provider of affordable housing.

The ACT government has provided Community Housing Canberra with an injection of equity of $40 million through the final transfer of title of 135 properties already under CHC’s control. We have also provided CHC with land at market rates and a revolving $50 million loan facility at government borrowing rates. In return, CHC will develop an additional 500 affordable dwellings over the next five years, increasing to more than 1,000 over the next 10 years. CHC has also offered a shared equity program to eligible tenants.

By supporting community housing, and through the establishment of the social housing register, which provides a single point of contact for Canberrans seeking


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