Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 October 2018) . . Page.. 4444 ..
to tenants and landlords. We are targeting programs to: increase the supply of affordable housing for vulnerable and disadvantaged households; increase affordable home ownership and provide more affordable homes for purchase; and increase home ownership through alternative finance and occupancy models.
We have an implementation plan that contains the actions to deliver on the goals and objectives of the ACT housing strategy. The implementation plan will be monitored, reviewed, and updated annually.
I thank the Chief Minister—I particularly echo his words in regard to housing investment and wages growth across Australia—and the Deputy Chief Minister for their leadership in delivering this important strategy. I also thank the many public servants who helped in the creation and delivery of the housing strategy and especially acknowledge the leadership and officials within my directorate of Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development. I commend the strategy and the statement to the Assembly.
MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (11.14): The ACT housing strategy is clearly something of major interest to all of us in this chamber. As I can echo from what we have heard previously: every Canberran should have access to a secure home; and housing and having a roof over your head should be a fundamental right. While the ACT on average is the country’s most affordable jurisdiction in which to buy and second-most affordable jurisdiction in which to rent, there is no doubt that many people on low incomes are struggling.
Canberra is growing; our population is set to hit 500,000 residents by 2030. If this growth rate continues as expected an extra 3000 new homes will be needed each year to accommodate everyone, putting pressure on land availability. All land is finite but in the ACT it is especially so. In the meantime, a mix of high wages and low unemployment has placed pressure on our existing housing stock, and it is important that we act now.
I commend Minister Berry, like my colleagues, for the significant amount of work and consultation that has gone into developing the ACT housing strategy. It will guide housing in the ACT for the next decade, and I know that it has not been easy. This is complex; it is hard policy. But this strategy aims to: ensure a diverse and sustainable supply of housing for the community; tackle homelessness and strengthen social housing assistance; and increase affordable rentals and affordable home ownership. These objectives will shape housing policy, planning and delivery. It is a complex piece of work, and it is something that is really important to get right.
As you might be aware, given that some of Belconnen’s suburbs fall within your own electorate, Madam Assistant Speaker, Belconnen’s backbone is social and public housing. I am sure that constituents right across Belconnen will be embracing the housing strategy. Indeed, anyone who looks at the indicative land release program for the Belconnen region will see that significant releases are proposed over the next five years from Strathnairn to the Belconnen town centre and quite a few areas in between.