Page 2324 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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Of the people who are waiting on the housing list for accommodation, those in priority housing are being supported by specialist homelessness services and they are being contacted regularly by FirstPoint who manage the Housing ACT waiting list to ensure that people who are waiting, who are in need of support, get it when they need it.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, why do applicants for high needs housing have to wait an average of 780 days—nearly nearly two years—for housing?

MS BERRY: As I referred to in my answer to the member’s first question, housing applicants in the ACT are people who are most in need of housing. That is 97 per cent. All of the people who apply for housing that are in the priority or high needs housing categories have a range of complex needs for which they need different kinds of support. This includes things like disability, mental health, drug and alcohol dependency, domestic violence and children at risk of abuse or neglect.

FirstPoint at Housing ACT is responsible for people seeking support through homelessness services. It does a fantastic job in making sure all of those people who have applied for housing are getting the support they need when they need it and for the right duration. That is the point I am making today: people who are not in desperate need of housing, and who are not placed in housing straightaway, are getting specialist services support. That is being provided through the work that FirstPoint does at Housing ACT.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, why do applicants for standard housing have to wait for 822 days, or over two years? Do you find that that is an acceptable time frame?

MS BERRY: As I have said previously, and I keep saying in this place, that housing in the ACT is provided to people who are most in need of housing; 97 per cent of people who are housed in Housing ACT residences are people who are in desperate need. While people are waiting for housing, Housing ACT works with each of those individuals to identify and respond to their specific needs and their specific circumstances. So it is not that people come onto these lists and apply for housing without getting the support that they need. For people who are experiencing homelessness while they are on the waiting list, as I have said, FirstPoint is available to assist in crisis accommodation or outreach support if that is what they need.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: What analysis has the ACT government done of the impact of the destruction of hundreds of properties along Northbourne Avenue on waiting times for properties?

MS BERRY: Could the member repeat the question? I did not quite catch how it connected with the questions previously.

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