Project status: Closed
The ACT Government is committed to putting housing first, because we believe that a home binds together the fundamentals of living. A good secure home is central to so many parts of life – school, work, good health, friendships, comfort, security and happiness. The release of the ACT Housing Strategy brings together contributions from housing experts, housing tenants, service practitioners, and the community, and is the most comprehensive roadmap to future housing and support service needs ever developed for the ACT.
How you had YourSay:
From July 2017, consultation on developing a new Housing Strategy for the ACT was open for seven weeks seeking feedback on the Discussion Paper: Towards a New Housing Strategy. The consultation process included opportunities for the community, industry and stakeholders to share their ideas, expertise and personal experiences through:
- public drop in sessions
- a survey
- workshops, and
- the Housing and Homelessness Summit.
During the consultation, we received hundreds of individual comments with:
- more than 120 people attending drop in sessions
- more than 160 survey responses received
- more than 125 organisations participating in workshops, and
- almost 200 stakeholders participating in the Summit.
What we looked at:
Read the Engagement Summary Report to see what we heard during the consultation period. The Report brings together all the feedback from each of the different consultation processes grouped under the four main goals that we consulted the community and industry about. During the consultation, we received many comments about housing types and diversity and heard a lot about potential planning reforms as a way to improve housing supply. As a result of this, the new Housing Strategy includes 5 goals, with goal 1 being created to address many of the comments received about potential planning solutions. The 5 goals in the new ACT housing Strategy are:
- Providing an equitable, diverse and sustainable supply of housing for the Canberra Community
- Reducing homelessness
- Strengthening social housing assistance
- Increasing affordable rental housing and
- Increasing affordable home ownership.
How we used your views:
The new Housing Strategy builds on the conversations that were started with the community in 2016. It's a multi-layered approach with a large range of responses and initiatives and has been informed by community, key stakeholders, and subject matter experts with experience in the many complex policy issues.
The Engagement Summary Report contains the different ideas and contributions, and demonstrates the complexity of the challenges facing the ACT, and the diverse range of participants involved in the consultation process. The ACT Government has used the ideas included in the Report in the development of the ACT Housing Strategy.
We've developed a Housing Strategy that commits the government to 74 actions across five key goals spanning the entire housing continuum, from homelessness services through to private home rental and purchase, and puts a long term framework in place for greater fairness and equity in the housing market.
The ACT Housing Strategy is available online at the Homes and Housing website.
The implementation of the Strategy will be ongoing and the website will be updated as individual actions are progressed. In addition, the Homes and Housing website will provide information about actions and accessing public, community and affordable housing.
Access to appropriate and affordable housing options is a nationwide issue. In the ACT, low to moderate income households who earn less than $100,000 annually are particularly at risk of homelessness or are experiencing housing stress. Housing stress is where a household is paying more than 30 per cent of household income on rent or mortgage payments.
By focusing on these low to moderate income families, it is clear that a suite of different solutions will be required. Of particular priority are:
- the 1,700 people experiencing homelessness – this includes people living in supported accommodation, staying in temporary accommodation, in severely crowded living arrangements or are sleeping rough.
- the 7,000 households in the private rental market who are paying more than 30 per cent of their income on rent and are at a high risk of experiencing homelessness.
- Approximately 11,500 households are living in either public or community housing.
Other priority areas include:
- housing options for older women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and women and children escaping domestic and family violence and people with disability.
- providing opportunities or improving existing services for the 9,000 households in public housing, and
- boosting the supply of private rental and home purchase opportunities for all low to moderate income earners.
The task at hand is considerable and should not be seen as one that the Government must tackle alone. We need to work together as a community to find new and better ways to address these issues, and think about how we can work together to leverage the combined efforts of government, industry and the social sector.
In 2007 the ACT Government released the first Affordable Housing Action Plan, which included 63 initiatives to provide more affordable housing and rental accommodation in Canberra. The strategy had broad targets from addressing homelessness through to building a pipeline of new land supply.
Ongoing reviews of the action plan identified a need for a sharper focus specifically on households earning less than $100,000 a year.
In early 2017 the ACT Government set up an Affordable Housing Advisory Group. This group provides an independent, external perspective of the challenges of housing affordability in the ACT and is responsible for advising on the development of the ACT Housing Strategy. The Advisory Group endorsed four broad goals for the housing strategy to focus on:
- Reducing homelessness;
- Strengthening social housing assistance;
- Increasing affordable rental housing; and
- Increasing affordable home ownership.
Members also played an active role in ongoing wider community consultations in the lead up to the ACT Housing and Homelessness Summit in October 2017.
Members as at April 2018 are:
- Adina Cirson—ACT Property Council
- Peta Dawson—ACT Housing
- Travis Gilbert—ACT Shelter
- John Jacob—ACT Housing
- Alan Morschel—Australian Institute of Architects, ACT Chapter
- Chris Redmond—Woden Community Services
- Christine Shaw—Luton Properties
- Neil Skipper—Havelock Housing Association
- Robert Tanton—University of Canberra
The ACT’s 150,000 households are divided into income quintiles. This strategy will focus on the first two quintiles.
2017 Housing Strategy Engagement Report
This discussion paper seeks to set the scene and provide background information on affordable housing in the ACT.