Delivering more affordable, liveable homes
Having a secure, suitable and affordable place to call home is one of the essentials for a good life. That’s why we are working to improve access to housing at every stage: by supporting vulnerable Canberrans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, expanding community and public housing, protecting renters, helping first home buyers, and ensuring older Canberrans are supported to find housing that best suits their needs – whether that means ageing in place or downsizing.
The ACT is investing more per person in public housing than any other state or territory and our strategy is working: homelessness has fallen in Canberra since 2011 even as our community has grown significantly. The 2019 Budget continues this investment to support more Canberrans into the right home.
At the same time, we are delivering more affordable homes through the annual land release program and working to improve building quality across Canberra so that homes built today last well into the future.
Reducing homelessness by delivering another Common Ground
This year’s Budget delivers on our promised investment in a second Common Ground community housing complex in Dickson, building on the success of Canberra’s first Common Ground in Gungahlin. The Dickson project will provide 40 housing units as well as communal facilities and space for social enterprises.
The Common Ground model provides intensive support to people who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, as well as providing affordable rental housing for Canberrans on low incomes. In addition to providing secure and suitable accommodation, the Common Ground model delivers onsite support for tenants with individual case management, employment, training and social inclusion opportunities.
Growing and renewing more public housing
We are commencing the next stage of investment in public housing by investing $100 million over five years to deliver at least 200 more homes and renew another 1,000 properties.
This investment will commence following completion of the Government’s major public housing renewal program in mid-2019, which is seeing 1,288 ageing public housing properties replaced with modern and energy-efficient homes that better meet the diverse needs of our tenants.
Releasing more affordable land
The 2019-20 Indicative Land Release Program will see another 15,600 sites for homes released to the market over the next four years.
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. With Canberra’s population growing every year, adding more new supply in a mix of urban renewal areas and new suburban estates is important to help keep housing affordable.
Stronger compliance for better building quality
Buying a house or apartment is a big commitment, and Canberrans want to know their new home is properly built.
Good quality building is important to ensure new homes are liveable, safe and don’t end up with expensive defects.
In response to feedback from the community, we will continue working to improve building quality in the ACT by boosting resources for the Territory’s building regulator.
We will hire 16 more staff for Access Canberra to undertake more monitoring and compliance activity, as well as provide more information to industry and homebuyers about their rights and obligations when carrying out building work.
These staff will also deliver more examinations for builders’ licences, ensuring local builders have the right knowledge and skills to do quality work.