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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 15 December 2016) . . Page.. 290 ..

homebuyers from getting ahead. Increasing land supply for housing stock has been an effective way to improve housing affordability across the board but now it is time to bolster this strategy with new opportunities and initiatives to drive greater reform in this area.

Housing reports on housing affordability, the labour market in the ACT and housing demand show that the ACT has the highest proportion of social housing in Australia. However, many households are still paying unaffordable rents in the private rental market, amounting to more than 30 per cent of household incomes.

The ACT government has worked hard to address the issue of housing affordability through successive housing affordability action plans. Much has been achieved, such as an accelerated land release program and hard-set affordable housing targets. Since 2007 the government has targeted both supply and demand measures and has been broadly successful through accelerated land supply, the 20 per cent greenfield affordable housing target and land tax and stamp duty reductions, particularly for properties at the low end of the market. Equally our social housing system and investment in housing and homelessness services are among the best in Australia, again, a record we should be proud of.

We have done well in this area but there is more that we can do. The government must support the growth of the community housing sector in Canberra and work with higher education partners to increase the supply of student accommodation.

Land release also plays a key role in creating a fairer and more affordable market. The LDA is currently undertaking greenfield land release development activities across the ACT, with about 4,500 dwelling releases scheduled for 2016-17.

But it is not enough just to release land and hope for the best. We need to be making sure we know what the community wants in terms of housing type and how they want to live. In short, the property market and its current settings are not adequately catering to the needs of all people who are seeking housing.

The government’s work in delivering affordable housing is of critical importance and the standing committee must urgently begin to investigate ways to deliver these priorities for the benefit of all Canberrans.

Debate (on motion by Mr Rattenbury) adjourned to the next sitting.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee


MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (4.05): I move:

That the matter of evidence and best practice around prevention and early intervention programs in the prevention of domestic and family violence and any other related matters be referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for inquiry and report.

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