Page 3244 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 16 August 2011

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Over the past four years a great deal has been achieved. The initiatives of particular note include accelerating land supply, which saw the ACT government release 5,048 dwelling sites in the 2010-11 financial year. This compares with 4,279 dwelling sites in the 2009-10 financial year, 4,339 dwelling sites in the 2008-09 financial year and 3,470 in the 2007-08 financial year.

In passing, it is certainly worth paying tribute to the LDA for the particular achievement of these very significant milestones over the last four years. I note that the challenge still remains, and that we are working to achieve 5,500 dwelling sites to be released in the 2011-12 financial year.

The government has also established a number of affordable housing requirements. These initially delivered 15 per cent affordable housing in all new greenfield estates. The government has increased this to ensure that 20 per cent of all new housing in greenfield estates is affordable. Additionally, the value of what is considered affordable is indexed annually to reflect market trends. Currently, affordable homes must be delivered for $337,000 or less.

We have also been working in the area of community housing. We are working with Community Housing Canberra to supply 220 affordable homes for sale and 250 homes for affordable rent by 2013. These targets grow to 500 affordable homes for sale and 500 for rent by 2018. To enable this to occur, the government has provided a $50 million revolving finance facility to CHC Affordable Housing. This has recently been extended by a further $20 million. CHC is working hard to meet these targets, with more than 150 affordable rental properties delivered to date, and 135 homes offered for sale.

OwnPlace is an ACT government initiative that commenced in June 2008. It provides affordable housing and land packages in the suburbs of Bonner and Franklin at the current threshold of $337,000. So it targets households with an income of $120,000 or under. As at 1 August this year, 454 blocks have been taken up by the OwnPlace builders panel. Of these, 216 homes have been completed, 31 are under construction and a further 157 are due to commence construction over the next six months. ACT Labor’s unique land rent program has also been applauded. (Time expired.)

MR SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, a supplementary question.

DR BOURKE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker. Would the minister advise how government policy has performed?

MR BARR: There are a number of indicators obviously that measure housing affordability. One of these is housing finance for owner occupation, in a report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on a quarterly basis. The report for the June quarter was released last week and it shows that the trend number of housing finance commitments for owner occupiers increased by 0.9 per cent for the ACT.

Nationally, the trend number of housing finance commitments increased by one per cent in that month. This report reminds us that challenges still remain. Year-

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