Page 2699 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 23 June 2009

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Based on this advice, I am confident that the housing constructed under the stimulus package will be amongst the most energy efficient and sustainable ever built in the territory. Not only will the housing be six-star energy rated; it will include a range of features, including rainwater harvesting and use, solar hot-water units and the inclusion of robust, hard-wearing materials and construction.

In April, I further committed to convening a forum on community housing in the ACT. This forum will provide the opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the role that community and affordable housing providers play in the housing continuum that I have described on many occasions. It will also provide an opportunity for the ACT government to clearly state where it sees community and affordable housing positioned across different housing types and tenures and, importantly, different income levels. In addition, it will provide input into the work that needs to be done with the commonwealth to support additions to community housing stock in the context of the stimulus package.

On 16 April, I held an information workshop for builders, developers and community housing organisations at the MBA’s new training facility in Fyshwick, to announce the stage 2 construction under the stimulus plan. The meeting was well attended and interest was very high. Housing and Community Services subsequently issued a call for proposals and the level of interest was reflected in the response.

The call for proposals closed on 22 May 2009, with 86 agencies registered for a proposal package. There were 24 responses received, covering construction of a possible 600 properties, from a range of small and large building companies and a range of local and interstate community housing providers. The proposals submitted represented an excellent range of building types, including larger and smaller houses and special accommodation types. They also included a good geographic spread, from new subdivisions in greenfields sites to development of inner suburban blocks.

An evaluation panel was convened on Monday, 1 June 2009 and the panel is currently finalising a full assessment of the proposals to determine those that meet the requirements of both the ACT and the commonwealth. Based on that assessment, I will be making recommendations to the commonwealth Minister for Housing by 30 June 2009. The commonwealth has committed to finalise their evaluation of those recommendations by 30 August 2009.

I am confident that, based on those time lines, we will see the completion of 320 new social housing dwellings by June 2011. Further, and in conclusion, I can confidently say that, in terms of the number and the quality of the properties being constructed by the government as I have described today, this initiative will be the most important addition ever to be made to social housing here in the ACT. I present the following paper:

Social Housing Commonwealth Stimulus Package—Ministerial statement, 23 June 2009.

I move:

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