Page 2060 - Week 06 - Thursday, 26 June 2008

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MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Gentleman for his question. I must say that the government is very pleased to be able today to announce that another two of the 62 recommendations contained in the government’s housing affordability action plan are well on the way to being implemented and have been very well received. The latest of these two of the 62 recommendations to be implemented by the government introduce the land rent scheme and the Land Development Agency’s own place initiative.

The government is pleased that the Land Rent Act was passed in the Assembly last night. The act will introduce a land rent scheme in the ACT allowing low to moderate income households to rent the land on which they construct a house, rather than purchase that land. This will improve the prospect of homeownership to households on incomes as low as $50,000. This scheme is unique to the ACT and is the first of its kind in Australia. It will make owning a home an option for a number of households currently excluded from the housing market. The scheme will reduce the entry costs and mortgage repayments for homeowners as households will only have to finance the cost of building a house on the land.

It is important to highlight the savings in housing costs for households entering the scheme. By way of example, the costs for a $280,000 house and land package would be of the order of $518 a week. However, the same package under the land rent scheme would only require payments of $330 a week, reducing a household’s cost by $200 a week. That represents a saving of $10,000 a year in housing costs.

That example just gives some indication of the hope that the land rent scheme holds out to those young families, those working families, those young families with children who are seeking to gain entree into homeownership. The government’s policy will directly help those struggling to enter the housing market and will provide benefits to those households on incomes under $75,000 a year. On the other hand, by way of comparison, the opposition’s no stamp duty policy provides the most help to those households who could otherwise enter the housing market, people on incomes above $160,000.

The introduction of the government’s unique scheme is another step forward towards more affordable housing in the ACT. The scheme will add another housing alternative for households to choose in achieving their goal of homeownership.

I am also pleased to announce that last week—and this is two major initiatives in the space of a week—the government launched the LDA’s affordable housing initiative, own place. Own place delivers on another initiative contained in the affordable housing action plan. This innovative project will provide house and land packages priced between $200,000 and $300,000 for sale in new LDA estates. It will open the housing market to a larger number of low to medium-level income households and will give them an opportunity to buy a new home in an LDA estate, achieving the dream of homeownership.

This innovative project will see the LDA and a range of builders in the ACT working together, in partnership, to provide affordable house and land packages targeted at low and moderate incomes. The LDA remains committed to delivering these affordable house and land packages in at least 15 per cent of all blocks in new estates. The new

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