Page 2373 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 August 2015

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gross income of around $90,000, an affordable house would therefore be one valued at around $360,000. We all know that there are not many houses valued at $360,000 in Canberra. There are very few for under $400,000. So a family on a gross income of under $100,000 would be in what we term housing stress or potentially even housing crisis in order to service a mortgage on a house valued at more than $400,000. What happens in this case is that those in the lowest quintile, or indeed the lowest two quintiles, and increasingly creeping up into the lowest three quintiles, are the ones that are more and more disadvantaged in our unaffordable housing market.

I am surprised that there is no real mention of the affordable housing action plan in Ms Berry’s amendment. The affordable housing action plan had a lot of good points. It has been largely unimplemented. It strikes me as another example that this government like to develop plans, designs, have consultations and then draw up their own plans without really taking the consultation into account. But once they have the plan, what do they do with it? The affordable housing action plan is one of those examples where it has not been fully implemented. It could have had some very useful measures to assist housing affordability in the ACT.

For a large and growing part of our Canberra community, housing remains unaffordable. That means more and more people are teetering on the brink of homelessness, and those people who are already experiencing homelessness will find it almost impossible to exit out of homelessness and into housing. That is partly why we are seeing the increasing demand on our public housing list—people cannot afford to enter the private housing market themselves.

Ms Berry referred to an amendment that has been circulated as a technical amendment. As we have both already spoken about, she was with me at the launch of Homelessness Prevention Week this week. I think it is more than a technical amendment. What is being acknowledged here is that these are people who are going through what should be, and for what many people is, a temporary part of their life, which is experiencing homelessness. But there should always be hope and an aspiration that they will move out of homelessness. We do not talk about the homeless or a person who is homeless; we talk about someone experiencing homelessness. So we always point to the fact that it is only a temporary part of their lives. I seek leave to move the amendments circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

MS LAWDER: I move the following amendments to Ms Berry’s proposed amendment:

(1) In paragraph (1)(d), omit “a person is defined as homeless”, substitute “a person is defined as experiencing homelessness”.

(2) In paragraph (1)(e), omit “were counted as being homeless”, substitute “were counted as experiencing homelessness”.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Community Services, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Women and Minister assisting the Chief Minister on Social

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