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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 May 2011) . . Page.. 1797 ..


older Canberrans. There is a genuine issue in relation to issues around older women and their capacity to access or to maintain affordable and appropriate housing. We are still working with stakeholders in relation to each of those areas.

Ms Bresnan, I will take some advice from the department to see what other information or advice I can provide to you, but we have taken enormous trouble to seek to understand how we as a government can respond, how we can intervene, what levers we have, where we can invest. I think we have an outstanding record of achievement in relation to a government response or intervention in relation to issues around housing affordability.

As I said previously, any discussion around housing affordability in the ACT needs to start with the acceptance of the fact that as a jurisdiction with over 11½ thousand, closing on 12,000, I believe, units of public housing, representing just on 8½ per cent of all housing in the ACT, we provide twice as much, for instance, on a pro rata basis, public housing, as a government, than the governments of New South Wales or Victoria. Any conversation around this government’s commitment to housing affordability or appropriate housing for those that do struggle to access appropriate housing needs to come from a base, or at least an acceptance, of the enormous investment by ACT governments in public housing. I do not have the final number but I believe it is now approaching 12,000 units of public housing in the ACT—over, I believe, 8½ per cent of all housing.

I believe New South Wales has around four per cent of its housing stock in public hands, and I believe Victoria has less than four per cent of its housing in public hands. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Bresnan?

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, how can a household on a single income expect to enter the housing market given they need to be earning about $120,000 a year to qualify for the government’s affordable housing packages?

MR STANHOPE: I will take advice on that because, as I say, it really does not go to the very point I was just making, that we have somewhere in the order of 12,000 units of public housing.

In the context of government’s capacity to invest, you must start from a position that actually looks at all of the investment which a government makes in relation to the issue of housing, and in this jurisdiction, in this territory, successive governments have invested in public housing to a level that no other government, I think perhaps apart from the Northern Territory where the investment is made by the commonwealth, has invested in public housing in the way that we currently do. That is a starting point, and we have of course in place a range of other initiatives.

I do not deny for one minute, Ms Bresnan, that there is enormous stress within that cohort of residents who are not eligible for public housing to access. I accept that and the government is responding strongly to the needs of that cohort who are not or do not meet the threshold or the cut-off for public housing. It is the most challenging


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