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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 October 2018) . . Page.. 4438 ..

Our approach is to ensure our disadvantaged remain a part of the community. Across different sites we will initially provide 151 new dwellings for community housing, including 33 in a brand-new housing development soon to be completed in Kaleen. Common Ground is an example of a partnership between community groups, the private sector and the ACT government to provide housing to low income groups and those experiencing homelessness. In Gungahlin, Common Ground offers a mix of around 50 per cent income earning households, with the aim of creating a community with good role models for all residents, rather than a concentrated pocket of disadvantage.

I would like to acknowledge the hard work that Minister Berry has undertaken, along with Housing ACT, to develop and launch this strategy. The strategy will make the ACT’s housing supply more equitable, diverse and sustainable, benefiting the entire Canberra community.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for City Services, Minister for Community Services and Facilities, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Roads) (10.52): Firstly, I congratulate the Deputy Chief Minister on delivering the ACT housing strategy. The strategy builds on the extensive work of previous Labor governments’ affordable housing policies, tax reform and, more recently, the public housing renewal program. The first goal of the strategy is for an equitable, diverse and sustainable supply of housing for the ACT community. Part of this means removing the concentrations of disadvantage that have historically existed in parts of Canberra where multiple public housing units were placed in high density together.

Instead, the focus is on salt and peppering small-scale public housing throughout our suburbs. In the electorate of Murrumbidgee we are welcoming many new people to our community, both in established suburbs and in emerging areas, through the public housing renewal program. These are people that will benefit from the same great lifestyle that we enjoy on the south side, close to bus routes and near schools and health services—the services that people need.

The strategy invests in the areas of highest need and in policies and programs that work: $100 million for new public housing; ensuring that housing supply meets or exceeds demand; committing 15 per cent of all new sites for public, community or affordable housing. These are the headlines, but I would also like to take the opportunity today to highlight some areas of the strategy that will make a big difference to those receiving, and delivering, housing support but that might not make the front page of the newspaper.

Canberrans particularly care about addressing homelessness. This strategy commits to working with people with a lived experience of homelessness, as well as the community sector organisations working every day in response to homelessness, to co-design policies and programs with the government that will make a difference. The strategy also highlights the need to support the homelessness services. A strong and supported community sector workforce is critical to delivering homelessness services that lead to better housing outcomes for our community. It is why the government is investing $350,000 to upskill specialist homelessness services to deliver trauma-informed support.

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