The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) has welcomed today’s announcement by the ACT Government of $100 million to expand and improve social housing provision in the ACT.
The announcement responds to ongoing calls by ACTCOSS, ACT Shelter and other community sector organisations for improved public housing maintenance, the acceleration of the Growing and Renewing Public Housing program and the delivery of more affordable rental properties.
The announcement includes an additional:
- $80 million for public housing maintenance over the next three years
- $19 million for the Growing and Renewing Public Housing program that aims to add 400 additional public housing dwellings and renew another 1000
- $1.36 million in preparation for the delivery of build to rent schemes in Turner, Lawson and Common Ground in Gungahlin
- Restructured financial support for Community Housing Canberra to manage affordable rentals on behalf of the ACT Government.
ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell said: “We are pleased that the ACT Government has responded to ACTCOSS’s call for additional investment for maintenance of public housing and the expansion of social housing in the ACT.
“Additional Investment in the maintenance of the ACT’s public housing stock is long overdue. Poor upkeep of public housing puts tenants’ safety, health and wellbeing at risk. We wouldn’t expect our politicians or public servants to have to operate in broken down buildings with poor security and broken windows. Similarly, public housing tenants deserve to live in safe and well-maintained homes.
“The ACT is in a housing crisis, with a shortfall of over 3000 social housing properties. We hope that the additional financial commitment to the growth and renewal program will accelerate the delivery of the promised 400 additional public housing dwellings and the renewal of 1000.
“We also welcome the investment in preparations for the delivery of ‘build to rent’ initiatives. The ACT’s Community Housing Providers are ‘build to rent’ specialists, focused on providing affordable rentals to Canberrans on low incomes. Their experience and expertise must be used to deliver build to rent projects if the ACT Government is going to meet its target of an additional 600 affordable rentals as promised in the ACT Parliamentary and Governing Agreement.
“This investment is also an important economic announcement. It will create jobs in housing maintenance and construction. We know that for every $1 million invested in social housing, GDP is boosted by $1.3 million.
“We acknowledge the prioritisation given in this ACT Budget to social housing and broader community sector needs and look forward to working with the ACT Government to ensure this additional funding leads to positive outcomes for Canberrans facing disadvantage,” Dr Campbell concluded.
ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations.