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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 26 September 2019) . . Page.. 3972 ..


To allow for all of these features to be built on the site, a variation to the Territory Plan is required, which is also currently open for public comment. Following the eight-week pre-DA community engagement period, Housing ACT will consider the feedback received and finalise the design documentation, with the intention to lodge a development application with the Planning and Land Authority by the end of the year.

The construction of Common Ground Dickson is expected to take between 12 and 18 months, and the first tenants are expected to move into their new homes by the end of 2021. The ACT government is delivering more social and affordable housing for Canberrans who need it, and Common Ground Dickson will provide long-term, secure and affordable housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, how will this development build on the success of the first Common Ground in Gungahlin?

MS BERRY: Canberra’s first Common Ground, in Gungahlin, which opened in 2015 with 40 one-bedroom units with both social and affordable homes and onsite support, has been an outstanding success. Since it opened, many residents have furthered their education, gone on to buy a property from the private market and experienced significant improvement in both their mental and general health. The latest data shows that 50 per cent of the social housing tenants engaged in employment and 25 per cent undertook training or education.

At the launch, I met with Greg, who is a tenant of Common Ground in Gungahlin. He was the second person to move into the Gungahlin Common Ground. He told me about how he used to constantly move between group homes before moving into Common Ground. Common Ground gave him the stability and the space he needed to work on his mental health and he has even returned now to his studies at CIT.

Common Ground Dickson will be a little bit different from the first Common Ground, being designed for, and providing services specific for, women, children and families. Addressing the needs of these cohorts is a key action of the ACT housing strategy, as new and emerging groups of vulnerable and homeless individuals.

The recent cohort study identified the support and accommodation requirements of people with high and complex needs, which helped inform the best housing model for Common Ground Dickson. Common Ground Dickson will build on the success of Common Ground Gungahlin and will provide social and affordable housing and the supports for a new cohort of women and families who need the assistance.

MR COE: Minister, what is the plan for the remainder of the government-owned blocks at section 72?

MS BERRY: I will have to take that question on notice. That is within the portfolio responsibilities of Rachel Stephen-Smith and I just do not have that information in front of me.

What I can say about the Common Ground in Dickson is that it will be important for the community and businesses to get involved. It will be a project that has, like


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