Page 3634 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 22 October 2013

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MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.00): As we know, the ACT government is working hard to make homes more affordable, and one of the most effective ways to make housing more affordable is through releasing land to create more supply and put downward pressure on house prices and rents. The Riverview Group will construct 4,500 new homes adjacent to Holt and west Macgregor over the next decade. This will house about 12,000 people. It will increase the supply of housing to the territory and boost housing affordability. The first 200 blocks are anticipated to go to the market in 2015, and there will be a number of affordable housing blocks and rental opportunities. Most of the blocks in this development will be eligible for the homebuyers concession scheme and stamp duty for all properties is, of course, also being lowered due to the government’s phased abolition of this tax.

Providing affordable housing is about more than just bricks and mortar and land; it is about creating sustainable communities with access to education and community facilities. I am excited about the new communities that will grow in west Belconnen. The Riverview development will include sustainability and cost effectiveness, as I said, and provide new community facilities and expand existing community facilities.

Last month it was announced that 552 dwellings at the site in Lawson are scheduled for release this financial year. The suburb will eventually accommodate about 1,850 dwellings in a mix of low, medium and high density development, with a small retail area and two community facility sites. Lawson takes advantage of its location close to Belconnen centre, University of Canberra, Canberra Institute of Technology, Calvary hospital and Lake Ginninderra.

Lawson will also contain affordable housing. For detached housing the Land Development Agency is looking to partner with CHC Affordable Housing for delivery of about 15 compact blocks, which were mentioned by Minister Rattenbury before. For multi-unit developments, the LDA will introduce project delivery agreements or a deed of agreement that will deliver affordable housing consistent with the thresholds.

Also in my electorate, more student accommodation is being built by the University of Canberra. Earlier this year the ACT government provided the University of Canberra with a loan, via a credit facility, to purchase and redevelop wing 4 of the Cameron Offices in Belconnen for student accommodation. This will result in 131 new dwellings supported through the commonwealth’s national rental affordability scheme. The university is aiming to grow student numbers from about 10,500 equivalent full-time student load to 16,500 by 2018.

This growth in student numbers will increase the number of interstate and international students studying at the university and will increase the demand for student accommodation. It is important that students, many of whom rely on youth allowance or part-time and casual work, will have access to affordable housing. I applaud the University of Canberra on their work in increasing this accommodation for their Bruce campus.

The second stage of the Eclipse development was recently opened. Eclipse comprises 233 dwellings developed by Community Housing Canberra on Braybrooke Street in

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