26 September 2023

Affordable housing strategy nailed down

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Canberrans on low to moderate incomes and those at risk of homelessness are being helped into affordable housing by the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD), according to the latest report card on its housing strategy.

In the Directorate’s ACT Housing Strategy Year 4 Report Card, EPSDD said the 10-year ACT Housing Strategy, released in October 2018, currently guides the delivery of housing in the Territory.

“The Report Card shows consistent progress across each of the Strategy’s [five] goals in its fourth year of implementation,” EPSDD said.

“Of the 74 actions outlined in the Strategy, 27 have now been completed, 39 are either progressing or continuing, and one remains in development,” it said.

“A further seven annual actions were also completed since the release of the Year Three report card.”

Highlighting the results, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Yvette Berry said the opening of Common Ground Dickson provided 40 homes for Canberrans on low incomes or who had experienced chronic homelessness to live in permanent and supportive housing.

“Two hundred and nineteen dwellings have been constructed under the Growing and Renewing Public Housing Program, with a further 93 dwellings purchased and 749 dwellings in the construction pipeline, and 349 tenants have moved into homes which meet their needs,” Ms Berry said.

“More than 100 properties signed up to the Affordable Community Housing Land Tax Exemption Scheme,” she said.

“The Scheme has capacity for another 150 property owners, so more people in need can access secure, affordable rental housing.”

Ms Berry said 224 dwellings were sold in the 2021-2022 financial year as part of the Affordable Home Purchase Scheme, enabling home ownership for eligible Canberrans on lower incomes.

She said new legislation to end ‘no cause’ rental terminations would also give renters more certainty that they could stay in their homes.

“While good progress has been made under the actions under the Housing Strategy, I know there is more work to be done,” Ms Berry said.

“Government will continue to work closely with community and industry partners to deliver and review the strategy as we approach the midway point,” she said.

“The ACT Government will continue its engagement with the Federal Government to progress initiatives that support the delivery of affordable housing for all Canberrans.”

EPSDD’s 12-page Report Card can be accessed at this PS News link.

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