Having a secure, suitable and affordable place to call home is one of the essentials for a good life. Through the 2019-20 ACT Budget we are investing in more public housing for those who need it most, releasing more affordable land and delivering a strong housing pipeline to support home buyers, and investing in building quality to make sure homes built today last for the future.
Investing in new and renewed public housing
We are building on our commitment to increase and renew public housing. The Budget delivers new investment to grow and renew another 1,200 homes for Housing ACT tenants. These new homes will be more energy efficient, cheaper to heat and cool, and built to meet the needs of current and future tenants.
This will include delivering more accessible and adaptable homes for people with a range of abilities and ages, as well as developing more two and four bedroom homes to better suit the changing family size and needs of Canberra families.
This program will be guided by the Growing and Renewing Public Housing 2019-24 plan, which was a key action under the new ACT Housing Strategy. It builds on our major Public Housing Renewal Program which will be concluded during 2019, having delivered 1,288 renewed public housing properties across Canberra.
Helping low income and disadvantaged Canberrans avoid homelessness
We are committed to addressing housing affordability and homelessness, and supporting low income and disadvantaged Canberrans. That is why the ACT invests more per person in public housing than any other state or territory.
Building on the success of Common Ground in Gungahlin, the 2019-20 ACT Budget will get work underway on a second Common Ground apartment complex in Dickson. Like the successful Gungahlin complex, Common Ground Dickson will provide a housing-first approach with on-site supports to meet the needs of residents.
Common Ground Dickson will provide more social and affordable homes for people experiencing chronic homelessness, with 40 units offering a mix of one, two and three bedroom homes to accommodate both individuals and families.
Building high-quality homes for Canberrans
Buying a home is a big commitment. Whether it be a house or an apartment, Canberrans deserve to know that their home is built to the highest quality.
We are ensuring that our building regulator is adequately resourced to tackle dodgy developers and builders before works are complete so that Canberrans aren’t stuck with the cost of covering expensive building defects.
As part of the 2019 Budget, the ACT Government will hire eight new rapid response officers and four additional compliance officers for Access Canberra to undertake more monitoring and compliance activity to protect consumers. We will provide more information to Canberrans and industry participants about their rights and obligations when purchasing or carrying out building work.
Through this investment we will also hire more staff to deliver examinations for builders’ licenses, ensuring local builders have the right knowledge and skills to deliver the quality work that Canberrans expect.
Increasing land supply with more affordable and community housing
With Canberra’s population growing by around 8,000 people a year, we are adding more land supply to keep up with growing demand to help keep housing affordable.
The 2019-20 Indicative Land Release Program will see another 15,600 sites for homes released to the market over the next four years in a mix of urban renewal areas and new suburban estates. In 2019-20, the land release program includes 488 affordable housing blocks, 140 sites for social and community housing, and 294,085 square metres of land for community uses.
Abolishing stamp duty for first home buyers
From 1 July this year we are fully abolishing stamp duty for eligible first home buyers – making it easier for young people and those on low incomes to own their own home.
Canberrans with a household income below $160,000 will pay no stamp duty, regardless of whether they are purchasing a newly-built home or an existing property in an established suburb.
This will see about 2,000 Canberra first home buyers a year benefit from more choice and lower upfront costs when they are buying their own home.
The ACT Budget 2019-20 is investing in housing at every stage: supporting vulnerable Canberrans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, growing community and public housing, and ensuring all Canberrans have access to quality housing that best suits their needs across this city.