More investment needed to end homelessness in ACT: Greens

Australian Greens

While welcoming further investments in public housing announced today by the ACT Government, the ACT Greens today underlined their commitment to tackle Canberra’s housing affordability problems through their $450 million Home for All package.

“The Greens know that if we are going to make a lasting difference in delivering housing for those on lower incomes in our city, we need a once in a generation investment in social and affordable housing,” ACT Greens Housing campaign spokesperson Rebecca Vassarotti said today.

“When it comes to priorities, what Canberra needs over the next four years is a major investment in housing. Our $450 million proposal includes 1000 new homes that will help tackle homelessness, and at the same time will provide a job stimulus sorely needed as we seek to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic.

“It’s National Homelessness Week, and in the ACT, it shouldn’t be.

“It’s distressing to know that every night, we have people unable to put a roof over all Canberrans heads. Only this week a report was released that suggested we have a shortfall of 3000 properties. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right investments, we can end homelessness in the ACT, which would be a historic first for any Australian state or territory.

“Where every Canberran has access to safe and secure housing, we invest in our community, create more jobs, and Build a Better Normal out of the COVID crisis.”

Ahead of the ACT election, the ACT Greens have committed to:

  • A $200 million investment to create 600 new affordable climate-ready rental properties for those in need
  • A $200 million investment to create 400 new climate-ready social housing properties
  • An immediate funding boost of 20% to Canberra’s underfunded specialist homelessness services ($21.4 million over four years)
  • $8.5 million to deliver MyHome in Curtin, providing long term supported housing for 20 people with enduring mental health issues
  • $9 million to deliver new beds in Canberra’s homelessness services and to embed specialist workers (i.e. mental health, disability, etc.) in existing homelessness services to keep more Canberrans out of homelessness for good
  • $8 million to deliver another 20 homes at Common Ground in Gungahlin
  • $300k to commission initial work on Aboriginal controlled Indigenous community housing organisation.

The ACT Greens also welcomed the Government’s commitment to increase the existing Land Tax exemption pilot, and to remove the two year limit.

This program provides land tax breaks for landlords who rent their property out to tenants at 75% of market rent or below, bringing those properties in to the affordable rental bracket.

The land tax exemption, and calls to extend it, came about as a direct result of Greens advocacy from MLA Caroline Le Couteur.

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