Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

On October 17, 2017 the ACT Government announced new targets for public, community and affordable home purchase housing to apply to select land releases over the remainder of 2017-18, and into the future.

For the affordable home purchase homes, the government also announced a number of concurrent reforms to eligibility, purchase price thresholds and the establishment of a home purchase registration database.

New Housing Targets

What are the New Housing Targets?

For the remainder of 2017-18, the ACT Government will  release 530 dwelling sites for public housing, community housing, affordable  home purchase and land rent.  
The 530 sites are made up of:

  • 54 dwelling sites for new/additional public housing
  • 89 dwelling sites for the Public Housing Renewal Program
  • 353 dwelling sites for dedicated affordable home purchase and  land rent
  • 34 dwelling sites for community housing

How has this changed from the previous policy?

The new Housing Target Policy replaces the previous policy established  under the 2007 Affordable Housing Action Plan (AHAP) which required 20 per cent  of greenfield estates to be released for dedicated affordable home purchase. Under  the previous policy, there were no supply targets for public or community  housing.

The shift away from a flat percentage on greenfield releases  allows flexibility in supplying social and affordable housing according to need  and amenity, including proximity to schools, transport, employment centres, and  public open space as well as considering existing concentrations of affordable  and social housing already in the suburb.

How will each year’s target be calculated and published in  future?

Future year’s targets will be developed by an ACT Government  reference group made up of relevant officials responsible for affordable  housing policy, land release, public and community housing as well as  representation from the relevant Government land delivery agencies.

The target will be published alongside each year’s Indicative  Land Release Program.

Affordable Home Purchase Eligibility

What is the new Eligibility Criteria for homes built on  these affordable home purchase sites?

In order to qualify for a dedicated affordable home you must  meet all of the following criteria:

  • The total gross income of all applicants must  not be greater than $100,000 for households of up to 2 children, increasing by  $16,000 per child up to a capped $148,000 for 5 or more children
  • All applicants must be at least 18 years old
  • All applicants must satisfy a current and  previous property ownership and residence tests
  • At least one applicant who will own the property  must live in the home continuously for 12 months from the issuing of a  certificate of occupancy
  • The applicants must be registered on the  governments managed affordable home purchase database.

How has this changed from the previous policy?

Under the previous affordable home purchase policy, there was no eligibility criteria.

Affordable Home Purchase Database

What homes will be available under this program?

For 2017-18, these homes will be a mix of units, apartments  and townhouses across 5 select suburbs and will be sold at values no higher  than $323,000 for dwellings with a living area under 80m2, and up to $425,000  for dwellings with a living area over 105m2. For more details on the new price thresholds click here.

While the sites will be released to the private sector over  2017-18, the precise timing for the construction of homes on these sites will  be at the discretion of the relevant private sector builder.

What is the web address for the Affordable Home Purchase  Database?

www.act.gov.au/affordablehomepurchase

What details do potential buyers need to provide to be on  the database?

Interested purchasers will be required initially to express interest in the available homes. Once the product becomes available for sale, relevant interested purchasers will be invited to register by providing details relating to their income, their employer, number of dependants, previous property ownership, intention to live in the dwelling, and residency.

How will buyers be matched with homes?

Buyers will be matched with homes according to their  preference.  If there are more buyers  than properties available, a ballot will be conducted by the Suburban Land  Agency to establish an order of offer. This balloted list will be provided to  the builder of the homes at the time of sale of these properties.

Affordable Housing Innovation Fund

What is the Fund for?

The  Affordable Housing Innovation Fund will provide funding to support innovative  projects that aim to increase the supply of affordable housing for low income  households.

What projects has the Government committed to so far from  the fund?

The  government has committed to three projects so far:
These  are:

  • An Affordable  Rental Real Estate Management Model (like HomeGround)
  • A home sharing  model (like HomeShare)
  • A co-housing model (like  Nightingale Housing).

What other projects are being considered??

Many projects and  initiatives were identified over the second half of 2017 as part of the  discussion around the development of a new Housing Strategy and from the  Housing and Homelessness Summit held in October 2017.

These ideas are  being assessed and the Government will consider what models and methods for  delivery will be the most effective.   Additionally the Government welcomes any other innovative ideas that  would increase the supply of affordable housing for  low income households.  If you would like  to contact the affordable housing team to discuss your idea, please email affordablehousing@act.gov.au.

Further Information

For more information,  contact Access Canberra 13 22 81

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