ACT Housing Strategy Released
This week the ACT Government released the long-awaited ACT Housing Strategy. The strategy includes a $100 million investment in public housing over the next five years. This will deliver at least 200 new homes and the renewal of a further 1,000 homes.
ACT Housing Minister Yvette Berry said, "We believe every Canberran, no matter their circumstances, should have access to safe and affordable housing that suits their needs. This new investment will ensure we can keep growing Canberra's public housing stock to meet demand as our city grows.
The strategy also includes a new target of setting aside 15 per cent of all Government land releases for public, community and affordable housing, including both infill development in urban areas and developments in new suburbs. This will grow the number of additional homes delivered each year to approximately 630."
Significantly for the local building industry the Strategy's targets will be met within a broader plan to maintain a sufficient supply of new land to meet future housing demand. Over the next four years, the Government plans to release sites for 17,000 new homes in Canberra.
However like all strategies, the success will come in its implementation. Master Builders ACT CEO, Michael Hopkins, said "It is vitally important to the successful achievement of the Strategies objectives that all ACT Directorates pull in the same direction."
The MBA has become increasingly concerned about Government making a positive policy statement, such as achieving greater housing affordability, only to then erode away the policy aim by actions such as quadrupling LVC applying to certain residential leases (as occurred 12 months ago), delaying building quality reforms, delaying development approvals, or significantly increase rates.
At a Federal level, changes to negative gearing and Capital Gains Tax as proposed by Federal Labor, directly contradict the aims of the ACT Strategy.
According to modelling prepared by Cadence Economics for the MBA, if Labor's policies are implemented it will mean $250 million less building activity in the ACT, up to 900 less new homes built over 5 years, and the loss of the equivalent of 680 full time jobs in the local industry.
Original Media Release from MBA ACT
Master Builders ACT has today welcomed the release of the ACT Housing Strategy.
Master Builders ACT CEO, Michael Hopkins, said "The Housing Strategy outlines a range of objectives and actions which all Canberrans, ACT Government Directorates and other levels of Government should get behind."
"It is vitally important to the successful achievement of the Strategies objectives that all ACT Directorates pull in the same direction.
When Treasury quadruples the Lease Variation Charge applying to certain residential leases as occurred 12 months ago, when there are delays to the implementation of building quality reforms, and if changes to negative gearing and Capital Gains Tax are implemented as proposed by Federal Labor, there are direct contradictions to the aims of the Strategy released today", said Mr Hopkins.
Mr Hopkins said, "While the $100 million investment in housing announced as part of the Housing Strategy will be welcomed by many, it's positive impact will be completely abolished by changes to negative gearing and Capital Gains Tax as proposed by Federal Labor which will mean $250 million less building activity over five years."
"According to modelling prepared by Cadence Economics if Labor's policies are implemented it will mean $250 million less building activity in the ACT, up to 900 less new homes built over 5 years, and the loss of the equivalent of 680 full time jobs in the local industry", said Mr Hopkins.
Mr Hopkins said, "To improve housing affordability it is important that government, community and industry work together to boost the supply of quality affordable housing."
For further information please contact Master Builders ACT:
Michael Hopkins, CEO, 0418 984 594
Karen Freer, Marketing Manager, 0437 955 923