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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2021) . . Page.. 346 ..

our new normal. Together we have been able to quickly respond to review services, prioritise and, in some cases, reallocate resources. While COVID-19 has interrupted service provision for some planned initiatives under the strategy, new responses to the pandemic have contributed to the delivery of other actions.

The report card which I released today shows steady progress across all goals throughout the strategy’s second year of implementation. The strategy includes a total of 74 short-term, medium-term, ongoing and annual actions, which have all now commenced.

Progress against the strategy’s 67 short-term, medium-term and ongoing actions can be summarised as follows: 14 have now been completed; four actions within this year 2 report card are categorised as “in development”; a further 33 actions are “progressing”; and the remaining 16 actions are categorised as “continuing”. The strategy also includes seven annual actions, of which four are “completed”, and another three actions have progressed since the release of the first report card.

One of the key actions completed in the second year of the ACT Housing Strategy was the continued commitment to the release of land for affordable, community and public housing. For 2019-20, the government set a target of releasing 628 dedicated public, community and affordable homes. This target is made up of 60 new public housing properties, 80 new community housing properties and 488 individual properties dedicated to affordable home purchase to eligible low-income households. For the last year, the target was exceeded by releasing 680 dwellings for public, community and affordable housing.

In the second year of the strategy’s implementation, the government has strengthened community services to help those who need assistance to access housing. In addition to the ongoing program of work, in response to COVID-19, new measures, such as funding to the ACT specialist homelessness sector, were added to support people facing homelessness or domestic and family violence.

As part of this targeted response to COVID-19, the government worked closely with service providers in the specialist homelessness sector to understand the types of additional support needed for them to continue to deliver essential services. This included establishing three working groups with representatives from government and the community sector—one focusing on women’s support and services, one on rough sleepers, and another on congregate-shared living accommodation providers. Through these working groups a better understanding was gained of where the pressure points for the sector were and where they were expected to be.

Responding to the feedback from these groups, the government provided $832,000 in accommodation support funding. This funding was allocated to provide both emergency and long-term accommodation for men, women and children who faced the challenge of physical distancing in shelters, self-isolation and potential quarantine when needed.

The ACT government provided a rent relief package, where rent relief, to a value of approximately $2.2 million, was provided to over 600 properties rented to community

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