Page 2683 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 July 2008
CHC is required to increase the supply of affordable housing for purchase by 470 dwellings within five years, and 1,000 dwellings within 10 years. It is also required to increase the supply of affordable rental housing by 250 dwellings within five years, and 500 dwellings within 10 years.
To support this, CHC has received generous public assistance, including the transfer of title for 135 public housing dwellings valued at $40 million, a $3 million capital injection, access to a $50 million revolving finance facility at government interest rates and direct grants of land, and transitional payments of up to $250,000 per annum for three years in land tax and duty concessions. This regulatory framework is important in supporting CHC to achieve its goals while remaining at arm’s length.
The government’s work to expand the supply of social housing through CHC is complemented by the commonwealth government’s support for a range of providers, including not-for-profit affordable housing providers, in national efforts to increase the supply of social housing. The Housing Ministers Conference, of which I was chairperson, approved a national regulatory framework for not-for-profit housing growth providers on 14 March 2008. The national regulatory framework anticipates that each state and territory will establish a multi-tiered registration system, appoint a registrar and maintain a registration list of providers, provide mutual recognition of registration decisions in other jurisdictions and adopt a national regulatory code as the basis of registration.
The ACT has used the experience of a number of states and territories with established regulatory arrangements, most notably Victoria, and the considerable experience in the United Kingdom, to inform the development of the ACT regulatory framework. Those jurisdictions have complementary funding and regulatory arrangements to support the growth of social housing.
The Australian government has committed funding for a national rental affordability scheme. It has invited participation in the development and management of additional rental housing from a range of organisations, including not-for-profit affordable housing providers. The Australian government has made it clear that it expects proper regulation of the sector. Strategies to support the growth of the sector will also be incorporated in a future national affordable housing agreement to be negotiated during 2008 by the commonwealth and state and territory governments.
As described in Mr Corbell’s presentation speech, the changes to the Housing Assistance Act 2007, as amended by this bill, will empower the housing commissioner to register and monitor the activities of, and deregister, housing providers. The consequence of deregistration would be the loss of any tied government assistance and publicly funded access.
The office for the regulation of not-for-profit housing providers will be established under the aegis of the Commissioner for Social Housing in the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services. The office will function alongside other responsibilities of the commissioner and will benefit from the economies of scale resulting from being part of a larger social housing organisation, both financially, in