Page 2369 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

housing products; reducing barriers to home ownership; addressing homelessness; improving rental affordability; supporting ageing in place; and improving the efficiency of property taxes through the abolition of conveyance duty. Of course, there is more work to be done to ensure that there is enough high quality housing for people at all income levels within our community.

Housing affordability remains an issue right across the country in both regional and metropolitan locations. Last month’s Council of Australian Governments meeting in Sydney identified housing as one of the four key priority areas for all levels of government. The ACT welcomes this clear statement of priority for housing matters. We will continue to work closely with the commonwealth government and with other states and territories to ensure that appropriate funding continues to be provided for housing and homelessness services.

Short-term funding arrangements from the commonwealth are simply not adequate or appropriate. The short-term funding arrangements create uncertainty for the housing and homelessness service providers and put in jeopardy funding for vulnerable members of our community. There are also clear opportunities for better collaboration between different levels of government, which we also support. I have recently written to the New South Wales minister to commence a conversation around a regional approach to housing. We are hearing from the local service providers that increasing numbers of their clients are people who have recently arrived from interstate. As the centre of a capital region, this is not an unexpected outcome, but we need to think smarter about how we provide services for people who are in need and how we fund those services.

The supply of affordable housing is a collaborative responsibility shared by the community, government and private sectors. The ACT has been working with the private sector, as part of the affordable housing action plan, in increasing the supply of affordable housing. Since releasing the first affordable action plan in 2007, the government has accelerated the release of land. Over the past five years, the government has released 19,500 dwelling sites at a time at a time when demand was estimated to be around 15,000. This release is almost double that of the previous five years. In the early days of the action plan, the government set a requirement for 15 per cent affordable housing in all new greenfield estates. This has since been increased to 20 per cent.

The land rent scheme is an important part of the government’s affordable housing action plan and was introduced in 2008. The land rent scheme gives a homebuyer the option of renting land through a land rent lease rather than purchasing the land to build a home. This means that the homebuyer does not need to finance the cost of the land; they only need to finance the cost associated with the transfer of the land and the construction of the home. As of 30 June 2015, over 2,700 land rent contracts had been entered into.

The government has also loaned CHC Affordable Housing $70 million to deliver 500 affordable dwellings for sale and 500 for rental by 2018. Support is also provided through the affordable rental office, which provides a secure housing product for eligible low to middle income older Canberrans. The government is committed to working with the private sector to explore innovative options for affordable housing across the ACT.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video