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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 October 2018) . . Page.. 4437 ..

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (10.49): I rise to make a few remarks on the ACT housing strategy and to recognise the valuable impact it will have on our community. As Minister Berry has stated, the strategy’s action plan will enable the ACT government to deliver more equitable and affordable housing through more public housing and growth in the community housing sector; 15 per cent of land supply being dedicated to public, community and affordable housing; reforms for renters; and funding for new innovations in housing management, design and ownership.

Providing affordable and accessible housing for all Canberrans, the strategy reflects the views of the Canberra community as a result of the widespread consultation undertaken by the minister and the ACT government. This ACT Labor government is committed to providing the public housing that our community needs. $100 million will be invested to further grow and renew the ACT public housing stock, as well as to provide new opportunities for growth in the community housing sector.

A commitment of 15 per cent of dwelling sites across Canberra to be for public, community and affordable housing builds on the previous policy where this requirement only applied to greenfield development. This new commitment will deliver more than 550 dwelling sites in the current financial year.

The ACT housing strategy provides the government with the directives to improve renting for all Canberrans and to strengthen the rights of renters, with reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act. This government will introduce legislative reforms in this place, making it easier for tenants to own a pet, easier to make modifications such as putting up pictures and shelves, protecting renters from unfair and unnecessary rent increases as well as providing security around the costs of ending a lease.

These reforms will benefit all Canberrans who rent. They are part of the ACT Labor government’s commitment to make renting fairer across our city. The $100 million innovation fund is supporting new models of affordable housing design and management. Funding new innovation in housing management, design and ownership will assist the ACT in leading the way in discovering new ways in this area.

The first round of funding identifies three projects which provide a valuable opportunity to seed housing models focused on increasing affordable housing options in the ACT. Canberra Housing Community will receive $230,000 to establish a new affordable rental estate management model. In my electorate, CHC has already started work on a house and land program in Moncrieff. The program offers the opportunity for private landlords to rent their properties to households on lower incomes at below market rates, with CHC providing property management services.

The ACT government is putting housing first. The ACT housing strategy will guide the government to deliver secure and affordable housing for every Canberran. Here in the ACT, we have the highest ratio of social housing in Australia and the lowest rate of rough sleeping in Australia, as well as a reduction in homelessness despite an increase nationally.

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