Page 1540 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 4 May 2016

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Affordable housing

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.31): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) recent research from a consortium comprising ACT Shelter, the ACT Council of Social Service, the Youth Coalition and Women’s Centre for Health Matters found 13 per cent of all ACT households faced housing stress, which equates to about 19,600 households in the ACT;

(b) about 6600 households in the lowest 40 per cent of combined household income found their rent or mortgage payments quite or very difficult to pay in the past three months;

(c) among those individuals and households reporting housing stress in Canberra, single parent families are amongst those who are particularly overrepresented;

(d) in the last 12 months in Canberra, of households in the bottom 40 per cent of household income, 7000 households made compromises on food and household groceries;

(e) the research found “a significant intersection” between gender inequality and housing inequality;

(f) St Vincent de Paul’s recent report, The Ache for Home, states Australia has a crisis in the supply of social and affordable housing, as evidenced by “the hundreds of thousands who are experiencing homelessness, on wait-lists for public housing or living in severe housing stress. Taken together, the statistics tell us that across Australia there are over 105 000 people experiencing homelessness and 875 000 households experiencing housing stress”;

(g) Anglicare Australia’s 2016 Rental Affordability Snapshot was released on 21 April 2016 and notes that “the private rental market in Canberra ... is extremely unaffordable for people on a low income, such as minimum wage or government benefits”;

(h) of the 1497 affordable and appropriate properties in the ACT and Queanbeyan surveyed by Anglicare Australia, there were no properties available for a single parent on Newstart Allowance with one child aged over 8;

(i) the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute’s Supply shortages and affordability outcomes in the private rental sector: short and longer term trends report released in June 2015 shows that of Q1 private renter households (households with incomes of $30 000 a year or less, which would include all single people and single parents with one child, solely reliant on pensions and benefits), 63 per cent of Canberrans were paying severely unaffordable rent. This is in comparison to 31 per cent for the

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