Housing summit brings community together around new strategy

Released 17/10/2017

Today’s Housing and Homelessness Summit is the culmination of months of consultation in which the ACT Government and our affordable housing advisory panel reached out to thousands of Canberrans to see what matters most to them around housing.

Around 200 community members from every part of Canberra have come together today for the summit, all contributing to a new housing strategy.

It’s great to have so many great people in one room, all working on the same goal to make sure everyone has access to a home and to benefits that brings – good health, safety, friends, steady work and happiness.

The announcements I make today are a direct result of the community’s input:

  • a Housing Innovation Fund of $1 million to seed new affordable housing initiatives
  • the first annual affordable, public and community housing supply target
  • a new affordable home purchase database.

These initiatives have strong support from across the housing sector, but more importantly, they will be implemented with ongoing consultation and alongside future initiatives as we develop a new housing strategy.

Housing Innovation Fund

The fund will initially pilot three programs committed to in the ACT Parliamentary Agreement: HomeGround affordable rental, Homeshare and the Nightingale housing model. As part of the announcement the government is seeking expressions of interest from organisations to lead these pilots.

The fund will also support initiatives which have come through in the many conversations leading up to the summit and others which will no doubt be raised today.

Affordable, public and community housing supply target

This is the first annual target, set under the government’s recently passed land development and city renewal legislation.

Before the end of this financial year, 530 sites will be released for affordable home purchase and public and community housing - a combined increase of 240 sites on what the previous affordable housing policy would have yielded.

The establishment of a new annual target provides the opportunity to widen the focus to affordable housing options in the public, private and community rental sectors and to work with community housing providers, builders, estate planners and our own public housing authority in growing these targets in future.

Affordable home purchase database

The Canberra community, through its ownership of land, provides a large subsidy for each discounted block.

It’s vital to make sure these blocks go where they’re most needed that the release of affordable land is fair and equitable. That’s why future affordable home purchase will be made available only to households pre-registered on a new ACT Government database.

I want to thank the thousands of Canberrans who helped inform these announcements and today’s summit:

  • 2,399 visits to the ACT Government’s YourSay website
  • 3,350 social media views
  • 166 completed on-line surveys
  • 337 participants from 125 different organisations in 26 community workshops
  • 129 people attending 6 community drop-in sessions at local shopping centres
  • 38 submissions through personal one-on-one and small group interviews
  • 36 formal written submissions.

It’s a reminder of how much the community cares about this issue.

While overall housing affordability in the ACT leads the nation, we always need to respond to market failure and help out those in need, especially people struggling under rental or mortgage stress or at risk of homelessness.

I look forward to plenty more time spent with these community leaders as we implement more initiatives and deliver a new housing strategy for Canberra.

Today’s summit fulfils the Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement commitment to hold a summit on housing and homelessness in 2017.

- Statement ends -

Section: Yvette Berry, MLA | Media Releases

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