Page 2846 - Week 09 - Thursday, 13 August 2015

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The $14.187 million is being allocated for the following purposes: $4 million is being provided to improve the energy efficiency of public housing. This money will assist with upgrades to heating and hot-water units, the installation of insulation and water saving devices, the replacement of inefficient lighting and the conduct of property energy audits. $0.5 million is being provided to improve security arrangements for elderly people living in public housing and, in particular, providing security screens on doors and windows. The response from older tenants has already been very positive. It is important that they should be able to age in place, and feel secure and safe in their own homes.

$7.134 million will be spent on expanding the social housing stock. The government will continue its program of property renewal, replacing older, less efficient properties with newer, more sustainable and energy efficient homes of contemporary design and fit-out. The new housing stock will be more reflective of community standards and expectations and will better meet the needs of tenants.

$1.817 million will be allocated for disability dual occupancy housing. This funding will provide people with a disability who need to live alone with the ability to do so through the provision of shared care arrangements to reduce the cost of support services. There is $0.736 million for the provision of additional places at Karinya House under the a step up for our kids program that provides accommodation and support for expectant mothers and mothers with young children who are vulnerable.

This funding will contribute to the construction of a new, purpose-built residential facility as part of the expansion of Karinya House and will enable mothers and their babies to be provided with 24-hour support for up to three months. The balance of the funding for the construction of Karinya House, about $2.76 million, is being provided through the Housing ACT capital program.

In 2015-16, 71 properties are to be sold, including 16 sales to tenants, which will provide $35 million towards our capital program. This is in addition to the $32 million available from prior year sales that has been held over, and the specific project funding of $14.187 million that I have already referred to. These funds will be used to build 117 dwellings for housing low income and vulnerable families, including the elderly, people with a disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

The ACT government will also purchase another 54 properties from the market to provide greater housing choice for low income families and to continue the salt-and-pepper approach to the distribution of public housing across Canberra. The cost of these activities is expected to be almost $64 million. Construction costs for the year are expected to be about $40 million and property purchases are forecast to be about $24 million.

In seeking to meet the housing needs of some of the most vulnerable members of the Canberra community, the ACT government will also continue to work closely with the community housing sector. Fourteen community housing providers are supported to provide more than 1,200 properties ranging from freestanding homes to single, shared or communal living arrangements.

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