Page 3155 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 22 August 2017

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Gungahlin town centre. These four sites may allow the sale of part of the land, able to accommodate around 33 homes, for other residential use. This will help us to deliver improved design outcomes on these sites and will further support us in delivering our goal of spreading public housing more evenly throughout the city and integrating public housing into the community.

We are providing new public housing in suburbs close to Northbourne Avenue, whilst also delivering public housing in other areas, from Gungahlin through to Tuggeranong. By developing a mix of public housing types in a range of locations, we are supporting tenants with different needs and from all walks of life. I have heard stories from tenants who have moved home as part of this program, and for many it makes a major difference to their lives to be able to live in a home that they can be proud of. For some tenants, it is great that they can stay in an area that they know, while other tenants have been pleased to move on to an area that is closer to their family or their workplace.

The energy efficiency ratings and modern amenities of the new homes being delivered through this program can really make a difference to tenants by reducing heating and cooling costs. The spread of replacement public housing across our city also supports us in delivering lower density public housing. We are providing a mix of freestanding homes, small groups of townhouses and units, and compact homes. These are significantly smaller than the existing multi-unit concentrations of hundreds of public housing dwellings in single complexes, helping us to reduce concentrations of disadvantage.

The 2017-18 budget also provides funding to support tenants as they relocate. We are continuing to work with all tenants to provide them with the support they need during the relocation process. Public housing remains critically important in the ACT and this program will help us to continue to improve outcomes for those most vulnerable members of our community who have housing and support needs which are unable to be met by the private rental market. The renewal program reflects our values. The importance of this program to government demonstrates our commitment to promoting the inclusive nature of our city. This government will continue to provide public housing that better meets the needs of tenants now and into the future.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (5.59): I am very pleased to see that the ACT government is committed to providing both public and social housing on an ongoing basis, and I am very pleased at the major investment that has been made in the public housing renewal program. However, I do not believe that we are keeping up with the supply of such housing to the extent that the community would expect.

To begin with, we have 1,764 people on the public housing waiting list. While I recognise and support the fact that housing is allocated on the basis of need and that those with high and complex needs are prioritised, that does leave a significant number of people on the list for a very significant amount of time. The average wait for those on the standard list is 885 days. That is nearly 2½ years. I know of people who have waited in the order of five, six or seven years for public housing.

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