Public housing

$30 million in funding for new social housing in ACT

Funding to tackle the housing crisis in the ACT is on the way, but some say it’s not enough.

The ACT government is promising new funding for public and community housing ahead of its state budget, which will be released tomorrow.

It will spend $30 million on new public housing and another $57.3 million on public housing repairs, with the announcement coming during Homeless Week this year.

The budget announcement is in addition to the $80 million previously allocated in the 2021-2022 budget.

Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) from 2019/2020 shows that over 4,000 people were assisted by specialist homelessness services during this period with “half of them (2,200 people) homeless at the first presentation.”

As part of the housing plan, the new Indicative Land Release Program (ILRP) 2022 has been announced, with plans to release 16,417 housing sites over the next five years.

While ACT Social Services Council (ACTCOSS) CEO Dr Emma Campbell welcomed the pledge, she said what we really need is in the ‘billions’.

“Today’s announcement by the ACT Government is a long overdue and desperately needed response to the ACT housing crisis,” she said.

“He acknowledges the advocacy of ACTCOSS, ACT Shelter and the Community Housing Industry Association (CHIA) calling for major investment and commitment on the issue of housing affordability and homelessness in Canberra.

“The ACT has an immediate shortfall of 3,100 social housing units and 2,400 affordable housing units. Every day, 2,000 people in Canberran are left homeless.

“This investment is expected to deliver the 400 social housing units already pledged by the ACT government and provide the resources needed to improve existing social housing after years of neglect.”

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said “population growth at the forefront of the nation” over the past decade has put pressure on our local housing market.

“In this budget, the government is taking action to further improve the affordability and supply of housing in the territory,” he said.

“From targeted stamp duty reductions to the construction of hundreds of new social housing units – we are taking further steps to ensure Canberrans have access to safe and secure homes.”