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?
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:
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Access Canberra 13 22 81