Page 2263 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 22 June 2011

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One of the issues that I think we do need to address in relation to the affordable housing strategy overall is how we respond to the different points within the market, particularly different products and the number of bedrooms within, in terms of the definitions around affordable housing. I know that this is an issue that Ms Bresnan has had some interest in, and many in this place have had some interest in. In reviewing this policy upon taking responsibility for this area of public policy, I will be looking at definitions of affordable housing and looking at this particular program to see whether it is achieving all that we hope.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Bresnan?

MS BRESNAN: Minister, are you concerned that, under the OwnPlace scheme, purchasers can on-sell their property after only six months, potentially making quite a profit very quickly?

MR BARR: Yes, I am concerned and will attempt to address that particular issue in a review of this policy area.

MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, why does the 20 per cent affordable target only apply to greenfield sites and not large multi-unit developments which are being done on an infill basis?

MR BARR: I think there are some issues in relation to the capacity within certain size infill developments to achieve that particular target. There are also questions around how this particular target is being delivered within the marketplace at the moment. I have some concerns that only a particularly narrow form of housing product is now being provided, and I believe that there is a need to have a look at this particular area in order to provide some more signals to the marketplace and some more guidance to those in the construction industry, particularly those who are seeking to offer product at the affordable end, to provide a diversity of housing options at this point. I think that will require a change to the current policy settings. I am examining the issue at the moment and will obviously release more detail in the near future.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Hunter?

MS HUNTER: Minister, is the ACT government’s affordable housing action plan currently under review? If so, what consultation is the government conducting on it, and when will a new version be released?

MR BARR: Obviously I am actively considering the future of the particular programs. I have had portfolio responsibility in this area for a matter of weeks, but already I have been engaging with a number of the key stakeholders in this area. I have met with the Land Development Agency and with Community Housing Canberra already in relation to policy, and also with the Village Building Company, who have delivered,

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