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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 4428 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

preferred model for the company. The committee concluded that the most appropriate model was one that provided for the community to own and manage housing, asset and property management. It concluded that the retention of CHC's not-for-profit status would improve the potential to increase the supply of community housing through non-government funding and concessions.

The steering committee also concluded that a company limited by guarantee under corporations law was the most appropriate mechanism for delivering the proposed activities of the company, and that it should not be a territory-owned corporation. While the committee considered that CHC's existing status as a company limited by guarantee was appropriate, it concluded that CHC's existing constitution, funding agreement and accountability arrangements did not provide sufficient safeguards to protect the public interest.

Accordingly, the steering committee recommended the following changes to address those issues:

making the territory a member of the company with special rights that enable it to protect the public interest in the assets invested in the company

revising the objectives of the company to strengthen the focus on community housing for low income households and alleviating poverty

requiring certain skills and experience of the directors of the board

requiring CHC to produce a business plan for all of its activities

placing limitations on the company's borrowings from private financial institutions, participation in joint ventures and any disposal of assets without the approval of the territory.

CHC currently has long-term leases over 209 properties it manages. While some time ago the value of the properties was transferred off the government's accounts, CHC does not have title over those properties. The government has decided to transfer the ownership of 153 properties with separate titles to CHC. The transfer of these titles will enable CHC to increase the supply of stock for community housing using non-government funding. This approach to expanding the stock of community housing is consistent with the government's policy directions outlined in the community housing framework, as well as meeting the objective of attracting private finance, a condition specified in the 2003 Commonwealth-state housing agreement.

The remaining properties managed by CHC, which do not have separate title, are primarily located in the ACT's large multiunit complexes. It is proposed to continue existing lease arrangements for these properties, pending the development of alternative funding options and the government's consideration of specific multiunit complexes as part of the public housing asset management strategy.

I take this opportunity to remind the Assembly that this government is enthusiastically undertaking the task of developing a comprehensive framework for the development of community housing in the ACT. To support this framework, we have already initiated a number of measures, including:

providing $3 million in 2002-03 and a further $3 million in 2003-04 for the expansion of community housing

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