26 September 2023

New PS office to take charge of housing

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A new office is to be established in the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate to oversee the ACT’s policy framework to deliver more housing in the Territory.

Announced by Chief Minister and Treasurer, Andrew Barr, the Office of the Coordinator General for Housing is to oversee the delivery of major projects and coordinate activities across the whole-of-Government.

“A growing city needs a variety of housing choices to meet changing demographic needs,” Mr Barr said.

“With the change of Federal Government, all levels of Government, institutional investors and the construction sector will be working together to construct more affordable housing where it is needed – close to transport, to jobs, and to public services,” he said.

“The newly established Office will co-ordinate the many areas across Territory Government that intersect with housing – driving a whole-of-Government approach to deliver our objectives.”

Mr Barr said the new Office would be responsible for establishing the first implementation plan with the Commonwealth Government to deliver the Housing Accord; leading policy, legislative, procurement and planning reforms that increase housing access, affordability and choice; and the annual update of the Indicative Land Release Program.

He said it would also oversee tax reform to reduce stamp duty for owner-occupiers; manage direct procurement and/or market incentives for Build-to-Rent and affordable housing; and increase access to secure, affordable rental housing options.

“The Coordinator General will also oversee the re-establishment of the Rent Relief Fund,” the Chief Minister said.

“The Fund will provide targeted, short-term support for low-income households in the private rental sector who are experiencing rental stress or severe financial hardship,” he said.

“The Fund will be available to 30 June 2024 and provide grants for up to four weeks rent capped at $2,500.”

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