Page 1531 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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was funding for replacement of the 81 public housing properties destroyed in the bushfires.

We will put in $1.6 million over four years for emergency funding. Public and community housing will receive an extra $20 million over four years for affordable housing options. To reduce the tax burden on rental properties, we have put in $5.2 million. As to home ownership, in revising the eligibility for stamp duty concessions we have put in another $5.2 million there. As to land, we will have targeted land releases of 500 blocks over five years for first home buyers and people on low to moderate incomes.

A seminar organised by the government’s housing advisory committee was held on 17 June 2004 to discuss future trends and housing affordability. Community input was sought on recent government actions, the government’s response to recommendations of the task force report and issues facing the future delivery and supply of affordable housing.

In July 2004, the redevelopment of the rural villages burnt out by bushfires at Uriarra, Stromlo and Pierces Creek was announced. We hope that the redevelopment will include public housing and former public housing tenants will be offered properties in the new village. That could be progressed a bit faster if the NCA would back off Pierces Creek.

A further government response to the report of the affordable housing task force of May 2003 was released on 26 August 2004. In this response the government agreed to a further 10 recommendations of the task force, resulting in a total of 33 recommendations being agreed to, nine agreed to in principle and four noted for further investigation. An interdepartmental committee continues to oversee the implementation of the government’s response, which is part of the answer to Dr Foskey’s question.

The government has incorporated a provision in the City West master plan that aims to ensure that a minimum of five per cent of the residential accommodation established through the master plan will be offered to low and medium income earners and, where possible, will be managed by affordable housing providers. ACTPLA has released the first block in the City West area—block 1 of section 90—without any affordable housing requirements. Interagency negotiations are well under way to develop mechanisms to ensure that future releases will contain affordable housing provisions.

More flexibility in the source of capital funds available to social housing will be achieved through the use of funding from the ACT home loans portfolio. The availability of equity funds from this portfolio will be reviewed biannually, potentially resulting in an annual injection of between $2 million and $5 million for social housing purposes.

Housing ACT is implementing improved procurement procedures for acquiring new Housing ACT properties. Rather than using a prequalified panel of home builders for the construction of standalone public housing dwellings, the open market will be utilised to achieve significant cost savings.

On 9 September 2004 the government released Housing people, building communities, a report that details the action it has taken over the past three years to address housing

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