Page 743 - Week 02 - Thursday, 10 March 2011

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MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, how much was spent on the ineffectual energised security wire and other security measures?

MS BURCH: I will take that on advice, thank you, Mr Smyth.

Housing—Allawah, Bega and Currong flats

MS BRESNAN: My question is to the Minister for Housing and concerns the redevelopment of the Allawah, Bega and Currong flats. Minister, you have previously said that 135 of the 1,350 units to be developed will be public housing, which is in contrast to the around 400 public housing dwellings located there in the past. Given increasing problems with housing affordability and homelessness in Canberra, what steps are you taking to make the remaining 1,215 units affordable and what is your definition of affordable?

MS BURCH: I am pleased to say that we are continuing to receive positive feedback on the redevelopment of the Currong, Allawah and Bega units from tenants and broader community members in the area alike. I am going through the final steps of a territory variation to move on that but there are some matters about the total quantum of units to be there that are still to be determined. We need to have a decision about the heritage listing of the church. That will impact on the total yield on the site and then the design and other matters—the built form—will also impact on the total numbers that are there.

I just make mention that this government continues to invest in social housing not only on this site but across the ACT. By June of this year I think we will be close to 12,000 properties under our portfolio, which is a continued and ongoing increase in access to social housing. The older persons units at 297, with the older people moving out of oversized properties, have certainly made a significant improvement in opportunities for larger families to access larger properties.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary?

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, is it not true that low income people in the private rental market face the highest levels of housing stress? How will the ABC redevelopment alleviate this situation and—again, in regard to my first question—make the other units in that development affordable?

MS BURCH: It has always been the intention for the site there to be a mixed tenancy model, so to have public housing, social housing, affordable housing, plus private ownership there. Again, the built form and the determination of those numbers is yet to be decided. We also have the tenancy sustainable program where we work with people in home ownership and rental to help them support their tenancies. A number of the regional services have come together in partnership to run that program so that they are actually supported in those housing stresses, whether they are in rent or mortgage stresses.

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