ACTCOSS welcomes all additional land releases that are targeted to affordable housing and social housing (including public housing and community housing). The material released today regarding land release over the coming four years indicates there are five regions where most of the increased affordable housing is being incorporated into development processes: Inner North, Gungahlin, West Belconnen, Molonglo and Woden. Belconnen region will have 20 sites released for affordable housing. This leaves no affordable housing development in the Inner South or Tuggeranong. New public housing will be included in Taylor and Whitlam.
Of the 4080 total sites released for development, 13.5% will be for affordable, public or community housing. That rate of release will not be enough to significantly shift the housing market in favour of the thousands of people currently unable to find an affordable home to rent or buy. At least 20% is needed to deal with the failure of the market to deliver housing that is affordable to the 35,000 households in Canberra who live on less than $500/week before tax.
We know that single income households with children, older people, people living with disabilities and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people are the least likely to be able to find a home they can afford in Canberra. We know that many people who are working in low wage industries are shut out of affordable housing. The social inclusion aspirations of the ACT Government and the expectations of voters who supported our affordable housing campaign will not be met if the ACT Government does not invest more in fixing our affordable housing crisis.
We continue to call on the ACT Government to invest $100m in a Strategy to reduce homelessness and increase affordable housing that includes: growth in public housing and community housing to match demand and grow in line with population growth, subsidies, rezoning and planning for affordability, a land stocktake and audit attached to an investment offer, land transfers and rates concessions to community housing providers, improved tenant rights, Universal Design and energy efficiency requirements.