Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2483 ..
measures that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on housing affordability in the ACT.
But, Madam Speaker, let me make this very clear: I believe in strong public housing. Public housing in the ACT supports over 20,000 people and makes up around 10,600 households in the ACT. This year, 99 per cent of public housing properties were allocated to those in greatest need. The ACT has the highest rate of public housing of all states and territories, almost double the national rate.
Other jurisdictions have seen public housing reducing over the years due to stock transfers to community housing or sell-offs, but in the ACT we have maintained that high rate as we have kept the vast majority of public housing in government hands. Whilst a new strategy will set the course for the ACT to address housing affordability, it will not change my commitment to see public housing grow in the ACT.
Ms Le Couteur has been on the record for some time now calling on the ACT government to build more public housing, and we do. We are continuing to build more public housing; we are continuing to renew public housing so that it is suitable and sustainable—affordable to heat and cool—for public housing tenants in the ACT.
But now she wants the funding that goes towards building public housing to be put into the pockets of landlords who are already getting a very generous tax benefit. Of course, this is a win-win for landlords who are already getting a tax benefit. That is why I have put forward an amendment that says to the Assembly that we will announce the outcomes of the expression of interest process, which sought providers for the affordable rental real estate initiative, as soon as possible once the process is complete.
Once that process is complete, we will announce that. Ms Le Couteur is right. Not all landlords are bad. This gives the opportunity to those good landlords who want to give opportunities to low income earners, people who are on lower incomes, to rent their homes at below market rent. This has been a relatively successful program in Victoria. We hope that in the ACT’s affluent community more people will come forward and offer up their homes in this way.
We are also investigating incentives to build on this initiative and further support housing supply, which includes land tax concessions for property investors who rent their property to low and moderate income earners, in addition to rent guarantees for property investors and rates rebates for community housing providers.
Madam Speaker, I am very happy to report back to the Assembly by the end of the October 2018 sitting period.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (10.42): I wish to speak briefly, Madam Speaker. We will not be supporting the amendment. I know that Ms Le Couteur knows exactly why we will not be supporting it. It is because we were quite happy with the vast bulk of the original motion. I would hate to see a situation here where we are all aware of the amendments that I was intending to bring to this place and we are all aware that it