Page 2701 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 August 2015

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provide 3,500 jobs for Canberra over the course of construction, increase our city’s economic competitiveness and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We note that we are pursuing the biggest public housing renewal program in Canberra’s history, replacing 1,288 ageing or inappropriate public housing properties with new homes that will provide the kinds of housing that public housing tenants need. We continue to consult with public housing tenants about their needs, including which locations will most suit them. In responding to the needs of tenants relocating from housing along Northbourne Avenue, we will provide replacement housing within 800 metres of the corridor either side of the capital metro line where possible.

We recognise that large concentrations of public housing in a single location can create pockets of disadvantage. We are committed to maintaining the salt and pepper approach to public housing provision, including along Northbourne Avenue and in new suburban developments, so as to avoid creating pockets of disadvantage.

We will continue our public housing renewal program. Indeed, we will continue to work with public housing tenants affected by the renewal program to identify their individual needs, including their preferences in relation to the location of future housing and, importantly, we will ensure that new public housing is cost-effective for the government to build and maintain and for tenants to live in.

These amendments capture the government’s intent to provide more suitable accommodation for our vulnerable residents, to renew our public housing stock and to ensure that the location of such housing best meets residents’ needs. We do this because we are an inclusive community, because we have a proud history of public housing and because it plays a key role in supporting some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged Canberrans.

Public housing is generally well distributed through the city, but it is, on average, older than in other jurisdictions. Many of our older public housing properties are in larger groups of units in Canberra’s inner north and inner south. These properties no longer meet the needs of tenants. They do not suit families; they do not properly support ageing in place or provide appropriate disability access; they are expensive to maintain; and they are often difficult to live in. They need replacing. That is why the government is undertaking a renewal program to improve the overall quality of our public housing and to improve outcomes for tenants.

As part of the program, we are committed to building and purchasing 1,288 replacement homes across the city. These will be a mix of small unit developments, single residential houses and compact homes. They will be modern and energy efficient; they will help reduce utility and living costs for tenants whilst at the same time improving their quality of life. Some of the new homes will be designed to suit specific families on our waiting lists and in our service whilst others will be designed to support tenants who are getting older or who are living with a disability. Through the program of renewal, the number of public housing dwellings that make up our portfolio will not be reduced.

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