Page 3368 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 21 August 2018

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Crisis accommodation is designed to provide intensive crisis support to transition people out of homelessness. A service gap exists for these people. What is needed is a long-term supportive accommodation environment. That was why I was happy to announce that the budget will provide $200,000 to fund project development and a feasibility study into an appropriate long-term accommodation and wraparound services model that supports people with enduring mental health issues. Long term, the aim is to reduce the cyclical experience of homelessness that many people with mental illness face.

Housing ACT is also working with ACT Health to provide long-term supportive care and accommodation for people with mental health needs. Housing ACT will provide the land as well as manage the construction of the project. This project will be the foundation for providing supported accommodation to enable people to live in the community with an appropriate level of clinical support.

Based on the success of the original Common Ground model, we have also allocated funding for the design of a second Common Ground complex to be located in Dickson. The 2018-19 budget provides $250,000 for further design work. This project provides an opportunity to increase the territory’s supply of affordable housing and frees up crisis accommodation for those who are actually in crisis.

To ensure Housing ACT can continue to deliver high quality and relevant services to our community, the government will improve the speed and responsiveness of Housing ACT’s service delivery by developing a digital service delivery channel. $2.134 million has been allocated over two years to implement a complementary digital service delivery channel.

The move to digital access of housing and homelessness services will fill the gap in the existing service delivery model. The channel will be made up of a client portal, a mobile application and electronic forms. The channel will enable Housing ACT’s existing clients and members of the broader community to access essential services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Clients will also be able to submit applications, update personal information and lodge and manage maintenance requests from their mobile devices. This will really make a difference to the service delivery for tenants in public housing and improve the ability for Housing ACT to implement maintenance work in public housing.

In summary, the government’s work to support Canberra’s public housing tenants is work that I will continue to champion as a member. Whilst unusual, it is refreshing to hear those opposite talk about increases and call for increases in public housing. It is not something that we have heard from them in more recent times, when there has been such hostility directed at public housing tenants. I look forward to our united and collective result as we build more public housing across our city in new and existing suburbs.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

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