Page 2845 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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Public housing is targeted to those people most in need. In the last year around 97 percent of new tenancies have gone to the most vulnerable tenants. This is the highest level of targeted allocation across all jurisdictions. At this scale the way the portfolio of properties is managed has a significant impact on economic activity. The public housing portfolio is a highly valuable asset to the territory, valued at approximately $4.5 billion. This portfolio is largely unencumbered and underpins the government’s strong balance sheet. In a very real way, the public housing portfolio is a key enabler for the activities of the ACT government.

In 2015-16 the funding appropriated by government to manage the public housing portfolio and the administrative costs for managing Housing ACT amounts to $136.6 million. This amount includes rental receipts from tenants of approximately $86.6 million, after providing rental rebates worth about $144 million to almost 95 per cent of tenants; interest and distributions on investments held in the territory banking account of $1.2 million; and other income, largely derived from amounts recoverable from tenants, and insurance recoveries for claims for damage or loss and from third parties and other agencies. Other income also includes the profit on sale of properties and any other gains received. The total other income in 2015-16 is $5.4 million. These moneys are deemed appropriations under the Financial Management Act 1996.

The government also directly appropriates moneys to meet the operating costs for Housing ACT for the provision of public housing and homelessness services. In 2015-16 this appropriation totals $43.453 million and includes commonwealth funding under the national affordable housing agreement of $21.7 million; commonwealth national partnership agreement on homelessness funding of $1.520 million; ACT matching funding of $1.520 million for the national partnership agreement on homelessness; ACT government funding of $17.351 million for homelessness services; funding of $0.321 million in support costs for the exciting new Common Ground complex in Gungahlin; and a further $0.444 million over two years to enhance the better services program and the one human services gateway, providing integrated government and community services for housing, homelessness, disability and family support services.

The one human services gateway began last year and has helped to provide more streamlined and effective support services for some of the most disadvantaged in our community and for those who are experiencing family crisis. The government is continuing to deliver on its commitments to provide safe, affordable and appropriate housing that meets the needs and circumstances of low income and disadvantaged families.

In addition to this operational funding, the government is providing further capital funding to meet specific policy objectives. In 2015-16 we are providing $14.187 million for capital upgrades and additional public housing stock to be delivered by Housing ACT. This is in addition to the investment in the public housing renewal program which will provide 1,288 replacement properties over the next four years.

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