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ACT Shelter applauds the incentives by the ACT Government towards improving housing affordability in the ACT.
“We unreservedly support the tightened access to the Land Rent Scheme - this is a great scheme initiated in the ACT to help people on low to moderate incomes into housing purchase and we applaud the Government’s move to tighten the scheme so that those who need it most are able to access it,” said Executive Officer Leigh Watson.
“We see the increase in the First Home Owners Grant from $7000 to $12,500 and expanded eligibility for the Home Buyer Concession Scheme as moves in the right direction towards increasing the affordability of housing purchase and also adding to the overall supply of housing in the ACT.
“The impact of the incentives will mostly benefit people on moderate incomes especially those who are trying to purchase their home and not quite able to get over the line. Though we urge the Government to ensure that the grant increase does not result in escalated construction costs being passed onto home buyers as has happened in other states and territories.
“However housing is a continuum and these incentives will do little to fill the current gap of most need – at the lower end of the housing market.
“Of the 30,000 households renting in the ACT, 40% are struggling to pay rent so are unlikely to be in a financial situation to purchase a home even with these incentives. “And it will certainly do nothing for the very disadvantaged 2,200 families currently on the public housing waiting list. According to the budget, the number of public housing dwellings failed to grow as planned and on top of that the Government is now predicting a further decrease in dwellings.
ACT Shelter has real concerns that the inadequate supply of public housing – especially as funding to homeless services has been cut, will result in an increase in homeless people in the ACT,” she said.