Page 3163 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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The policy position is consistent with the implementation of the current policy position of the government regarding security of tenure, which identifies people with financial capacity to access other tenure options and supports them to access other tenure. A key exit point has been shared equity, which contributes to the improved housing outcomes for people exiting from social housing.

It really comes down to understanding what the words are—“security of tenure”. It does not mean “no change”. It means that people should have a level of security, and that security remains. If people’s income does not go up then they will have the security to remain in publicly provided housing. It is also about the tenure. Tenure is about somebody having somewhere stable to live, essentially. I guess the whole phrase sums that up. But if somebody does have the means to, for example, purchase their property from Housing ACT through the shared equity scheme, they still have security of tenure. The ownership model is different. In fact, it can be argued that the tenant is better off because they are building themselves an asset through their increased income.

So I do not think these policies are in any way inconsistent. With the implementation of them, the detail of that is very important, to ensure that people do have security of tenure. There is certainly no intent in this policy to simply turf people out onto the street or put them in a situation where in 12 or 18 months time they will be back on the public housing list. It is designed to identify people whose means have improved because, through the provision of social housing, they have been able to perhaps get better opportunities in life and have been able to enhance their own capabilities.

I think it is quite appropriate that people who are given that hand up, once they have managed to take the step up, should then make way for others to come into the system who perhaps more urgently need the assistance. I am comfortable with that. That is my view and it is one that I think is consistent with the way the policy is being applied at the moment.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5:20): I was inspired in July to see the great work that the federal and ACT Labor governments are doing with the non-profit ACT development with CHC Affordable Housing. Together they are delivering high quality affordable housing in a mixture of rental properties and properties for sale. Over 130 rental units are available in the Eclipse affordable housing development in Braybrooke Street in Bruce, in my electorate, at only 80 per cent of the market rate. It means these great units are within the reach of people on low or moderate incomes who meet the CHC criteria, and they are in the very cosmopolitan Bruce neighbourhood.

Canberrans enjoy a great quality of life, a beautiful environment and one of the highest standards of living in Australia. But we also know some Canberrans are doing it tough. They are not on high salaries but face high costs. That is why this government has measures such as the targeted assistance strategy and affordable housing schemes to create fairness and opportunity for all.

The Eclipse housing development in Bruce is one of the largest affordable housing projects delivered in Australia under Labor’s national rental affordability scheme—

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