Page 5409 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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MS BERRY: Yes, I can. The government’s public housing renewal program has reached the halfway point. To get there the government has so far: committed $608 million for the delivery of this significant program; supported hundreds of tenants to move home, with the wants and needs of the individuals considered during the relocation process; successfully implemented an expression of interest program to purchase suitable land and properties from the private sector, supporting the local development industry and increasing diversity of the public housing portfolio; delivered public housing in more than 20 suburbs across Canberra, including both new and established communities, enabling public housing to be spread across the city; and engaged with a wide range of communities in areas where new public housing is being developed, including holding information sessions and public meetings.

To ensure that the second half of the public housing renewal program can be just as successfully delivered the ACT government is: responding to community feedback about new public housing developments, including refining the designs prior to lodging development applications; entering into new contracts for construction of more than 160 dwellings in new suburbs such as Taylor and Throsby, as well as commencing work in sites in established areas, including Monash; and continuing to support tenants as they move home, including working with community organisations as part of the linking into new communities task force and transforming communities partnership.

MS CODY: Minister, what evaluation has occurred on the program, and what does it say about the experience of housing tenants?

MS BERRY: The Linking into New Communities Taskforce has undertaken some evaluation that has captured the experience of public housing tenants who have been relocated during the first half of the public housing renewal program. The findings of the evaluation highlight the importance of the collaborative and co-designed approach by government and community sector partners.

Key insights show that there is a strong alignment with the service provided and that the renewal program is performing well with: successful early tenant engagement; one-on-one engagement being positive and constructive in the ways it meets tenants’ needs and delivers quality services; and quality life improvements for tenants who have been through the relocation process. As well, gaps in services were routinely identified and addressed by the LINCT and transforming communities partnership, and specialised services were engaged in the project.

Tenants have been complimentary about the support they have received, with many saying that they appreciated being treated so respectfully and sensitively throughout this process. Some tenants noted that the help that they have received has relieved their anxiety and stress in making the move. All members of the LINCT and the TCP have seen the positive impacts that the relocation process has had on individual tenants that they have been working with.

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