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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 August 2018) . . Page.. 3441 ..


of the Housing ACT app which is being developed, and it is really great. It looks good and it is really easy to use, which is important.

Improving the energy efficiency of public housing properties and reducing power bills for tenants has also been a priority in this year’s budget. An amount of $5.7 million is allocated over the next three years towards the energy efficiency improvement scheme to provide energy efficiency products and deliver energy efficiency upgrades to approximately 2,200 public housing properties.

The year’s budget is also delivering real outcomes and support for housing and homelessness services, including the announcement that stamp duty will not apply to first homebuyers with a household income of up to $160,000 from July next year.

MS CODY: Minister, how will these initiatives help to improve housing affordability and continue to reduce homelessness?

MS BERRY: Many of these initiatives in the budget will improve housing affordability and reduce homelessness. Building on the success of Common Ground in Gungahlin, the government has allocated $250,000 to undertake the design of a second Common Ground in Dickson. Common Ground has been a fantastic project that has a social mix to support in a supported environment people experiencing homelessness as well residents on low incomes. This will increase the supply of affordable housing and free up crisis accommodation leading to long-term sustainable housing.

The government has committed $4.4 million to deliver another dedicated and culturally appropriate housing complex for older Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. The provision of culturally specific accommodation has proven to be successful in the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older persons accommodation, Mura Gunya, in Kambah. The government has been working collaboratively with the elected body to deliver these important projects that allow tenants to maintain connection to their family, community and culture.

The government has also provided $200,000 in the budget to commence development and feasibility studies into purpose-built supportive housing facilities for people who are experiencing long-term mental health issues and housing difficulties. In 2016-17 one in every five people identified mental health issues as a reason for seeking homelessness assistance in approaching a homelessness service, demonstrating the need to provide purpose-built supportive housing facilities for people experiencing long-term mental health issues.

All these programs are working to support housing and reduce homelessness in the ACT.

MR STEEL: Minister, how is the government tracking against its election commitments and the parliamentary agreement in relation to housing and homelessness?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Steel for his supplementary. The government is delivering on all their commitments to Canberra and the parliamentary agreement. As


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