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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 October 2018) . . Page.. 4439 ..


In most cases the ACT and federal governments provide support to assist refugees in finding appropriate housing as well. However, in many cases, such as where there are temporary protection visas, a range of federal government supports are not available. As such, there is a growing need to support this small but growing group in our community. The housing strategy recognises this. As well as those seeking refuge and protection, non-English-speaking migrants can find it challenging to understand the rental market and to navigate its complexities. Recently, I have heard from a constituent who has particularly highlighted this point. A family who were recently arrived migrants struggled to find support in gaining an understanding of how to manage their rental agreement.

As Minister for Multicultural Affairs, I am particularly pleased that the strategy involves a communication campaign to promote the existing supports for tenants and landlords. This will support them to maintain existing tenancies and provide information to all tenants on the support services available in the ACT. Again, I would like to congratulate the Deputy Chief Minister on leading the development of this important plan for housing in the territory.

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (10.56): I rise today to talk about the ACT housing strategy and I want to start by thanking the Deputy Chief Minister for all her hard work in bringing this strategy forward. I know many in our community were eagerly awaiting the strategy, and here it is. Thank you.

Housing should be an inalienable right. It should not be the plaything of investors and speculators. No-one should reap massive profits while families cannot afford to put a roof over their head. What this strategy does is bring those families and individuals who cannot afford a home, bring those experiencing housing stress, closer to secure housing. Many people underestimate the importance of having a home, somewhere they do not have to worry about getting moved on from and somewhere they can call their own. It is one of the vital, most fundamental rights we need to honour as a government. This package will make it easier for Canberrans to access not only housing but a home.

This government will make available $100 million to support our community to invest, to further grow and renew our public housing stock as well as provide new opportunities for growth in the community housing sector. This massive injection of funding will build on the public housing renewal project, which has replaced hundreds of old and unsuitable homes with modern structures that better withstand the elements and better align with community expectations of housing. And we are breaking ground on Common Ground 2, an exciting and innovative housing model here in Canberra.

There will also be targets set in future land releases in both greenfields and urban infill sites. This means that 15 per cent of dwelling sites will need to be set aside for public, community and affordable housing. Instead of creating exclusive urban enclaves for the rich, we will see people of all backgrounds mingle and form a community. I, for one, believe that our communities are made stronger through diversity and that a greater shared empathy benefits us all. Canberra remains one of


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