Page 1380 - Week 04 - Thursday, 30 March 2017

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The ACT’s experience over the past nine years supports the government re-evaluating its efforts in order to address housing market gaps for households earning under $95,000 a year. Our understanding of what Canberrans need has, until this point, stayed relatively constant, but the Canberra community has changed. Through community consultation, we need to keep evaluating what our community needs from us and what we can provide.

We know the ACT is changing. The typical household and family are much more diverse and our communities are evolving. We are partnering later, having fewer children, working in more jobs over the course of our working lives, and experiencing less secure employment conditions than previous generations. To start addressing housing affordability, we need a better understanding of the housing needs and wants of all our community, and a diversification in the options available to obtain them.

The ACT government’s housing policies are delivering better outcomes for Canberrans who need our support. Our collaboration with commonwealth and national level initiatives, including contributing to the delivery of thousands of new affordable rental dwellings under the national rental affordability scheme, makes us the most successful jurisdiction, per capita, in Australia. This includes over 2,000 affordable new dwellings for the ACT’s university students, which will also benefit the broader rental market.

The government is tailoring its assistance for households in these circumstances, with current and developing programs in place for: introducing a home share program through Communities@Work to provide accommodation for low income singles or students and support older people to remain in their homes; accommodation services for the elderly or frail homeless or older people at risk of homelessness; developing a program to increase tenancy and clinical support for tenants with a mental illness; introducing a youth foyer mode, linking youth housing with employment and training opportunities; shared equity schemes for tenants in public housing to enable affordable and progressive home purchase; deferring conveyance duty and land payment for first home buyers; and providing a loan facility to Community Housing Canberra to deliver affordable properties for rental and purchase, which has so far seen the construction of 401 affordable rental homes for singles and families earning between $30,200 and $53,000.

Combined with these achievements, our changes to homebuyer assistance schemes and duty concessions will continue to deliver positive housing affordability outcomes for Canberra into our second century. The work of the ACT government in addressing these issues has been crucial in pursuing equity for all Canberrans. It is vital that we continue to create more affordable housing options for Canberrans, particularly those most vulnerable in our community.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (4.22): When you measure average incomes, the ACT continues to rank first in home loan and rental affordability across all

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