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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 March 2018) . . Page.. 891 ..


but they do not address the needs of everyone, all of the time. I thank my colleague Mr Pettersson for moving this motion today, and I am happy to support it.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion, Minister for Disability, Children and Youth, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (6.08): I thank Mr Pettersson for bringing forward the motion before us today. As each of us in this place is undoubtedly aware, housing is one of the most significant issues of concern for many people in Canberra. In fact, housing affordability remains a significant issue faced by people across Australia. I am proud to be part of a government that understands this and also understands the critical role that safe, secure and affordable housing plays in enabling people to participate in their communities.

On many measures the ACT is doing well in responding to the housing needs of Canberrans, including our most disadvantaged households. However, we can always do more. The ACT government has been both proactive and responsive in seeking to address housing affordability in the ACT. This work is a credit to the efforts of the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, the Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Berry.

As Mr Pettersson’s motion notes, in addition to developing a new housing strategy, Minister Berry has already announced a number of measures aimed at making housing in the ACT more affordable, accessible and fair. The initiatives—a housing innovation fund to seed new affordable housing initiatives, community housing targets, and a new affordable home purchase database—were the direct result of community engagement. These initiatives are in addition to the significant public housing renewal project which is currently underway. Renewing our public housing will ensure that our housing stock better meets tenants’ needs now and into the future, creating a more sustainable public housing system.

Appropriate and affordable housing, including public housing, is an integral part of any social inclusion agenda. When it comes to building a more inclusive Canberra, a high priority for me is developing accessible, affordable and safe housing options for people with disability. Housing affordability and accessibility are an acute issue for many people with a disability. There is significant research indicating a strong correlation between disability and poor housing outcomes. Improving housing outcomes means ensuring that affordable housing options that empower people with disability to choose how they live and where they call home are available.

I am therefore pleased to report to the Assembly that the Office for Disability is currently working with Havelock Housing on the development of a website that assists people with disability in the ACT to be informed about models of housing and accommodation and how they can make a decision about what model and support arrangement are right for them. The website will include information on housing and accommodation models operating in Canberra and the services supporting people to live in different ways in the community, as well as information on models that are being developed and implemented nationally and internationally. This work is targeted at the whole of the community and will benefit anybody who has an interest


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