Page 888 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 21 March 2018
challenges for governments in this space, including the significant capital cost of constructing new public housing, we have at our disposal a range of resources, including, as was mentioned, control over land release in the ACT and, importantly, our planning system.
In that vein I note the recent work being done by ACTPLA on housing choices. Potentially this could be some of the most important work as far as housing affordability and housing provision is concerned. I am hopeful that housing choices will look seriously at housing affordability as part of the solution and make positive changes in this regard. I hope it will not be restricted just to the missing middle; there is a missing bottom as well. I think we need to look at all of this, and the Greens’ submission to housing choices attempts to do a better balance of environmental outcomes as well as improve social outcomes such as better housing affordability.
Governments also control the public housing system. Sadly, in the ACT public housing has fallen relative to our population. Public housing currently makes up 7.1 per cent of ACT’s housing stock. In 2001 this figure was 10.2 per cent. The Suburban Land Agency has identified a huge 143 dwelling sites for public housing in 2017-18. During this period 4,120 dwelling sites have been scheduled for release by the ACT government. This means that only 3.5 per cent of this new housing will be public housing.
At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.
MS LE COUTEUR: If the proportion of public housing in areas under the jurisdiction of the City Renewal Authority and the Suburban Land Agency remains at 3.5 per cent and the public housing capital delivery program continues to barely replace or not replace the existing stock, then the proportion of public housing in Canberra will continue to fall. This is why the Greens have repeatedly called and will continue to call for at least maintaining the current level of social housing in Canberra.
The national housing and homelessness agreement, which is due to come into effect on 1 July this year, will include a supplementary bilateral agreement between the commonwealth and the territory. The legislation is still before the Senate, but I note that the third reading of the bill notes that:
Financial assistance is payable to the State under this section for the financial year on condition that, at all times during the period ascertained in accordance with the primary housing agreement or the supplementary housing agreement, the State will:
(a) have a housing strategy for the State that:
(i) indicates the level of housing supply needed to respond to projected housing demand, and outlines the reforms and initiatives that contribute to meeting this need; and
(ii) includes such other matters (if any) as are specified in the primary housing agreement or the supplementary housing agreement; and