Page 4993 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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(2) The Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services will respond to the report on the funding review in 2006 and has committed to entering into three year funding agreements with community housing organisations from July 2006.

Housing ACT—disabled persons
(Question No 761)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, upon notice, on 15 November 2005:

(1) What consultation has occurred between Housing ACT and the relevant stakeholders when developing and implementing policies for (a) people with disabilities, (b) women, (c) older people and (d) youth;

(2) What outcomes have been achieved during 2005 for these groups;

(3) What proportion of new tenancies are allocated by Housing ACT to clients with special needs.

Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The ACT Government undertakes a wide range of consultative activities to identify the housing and support needs of the ACT community. For example, I have hosted three Ministerial Housing Forums to date during 2005 and a fourth forum will be held on joint ventures and housing redevelopments in December 2005. Consultations have been held in relation to the Homelessness Strategy and the ACT Homelessness Committee established a youth homelessness working group to develop a youth homelessness action plan to enhance early intervention and preventative responses. The Housing and Tenancy Reform Working Group developed five key Housing and Tenancy Principles for People with Disabilities in consultation with the community. Additionally, the Department continues to fund an Adaptable Housing and Accessible Design Service with people with disabilities as a target group. The Department continues to fund the housing and advisory service of older people through the Council on the Aging. Housing ACT utilises the outcomes of these activities to inform the provision of support to tenants and housing applicants.

(2) The following outcomes have been achieved during 1 Jan to 30 June 2005:

• Housing ACT formed the Debt Review Committee primarily as a response to public housing debt related to domestic violence. This has improved operational procedures around raising debt against victims of domestic violence where the debt is related to the violence and will continue to produce reformed policies and procedures. There were 154 dwellings allocated to women (excludes joint tenancies with men).

• there were 286 properties modified to assist people with disabilities with $1.6m expended on both major and minor disabled modifications to dwellings for disabled or frail clients.

• Housing ACT commenced building 46 dwellings as Older Persons Accommodation.

• there were 71 dwellings allocated solely to youth (≤25 years old) and six dwellings allocated to a youth plus at least one older person as a joint tenancy. Housing ACT also provided 30 units in 2004 and 122 units in the 2005 tertiary year to address the shortage of accommodation for students.

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