Frequently asked questions

What is the Affordable Housing Target?

In the past, the ACT Government required that at least 20% of homes (apartments, townhouses and houses) in new estates were sold at or below the affordable price range. An ACT Government review of that approach, along with community and industry feedback, showed that this limited the types and locations of affordable homes available to Canberra’s outer suburbs.

To ensure that affordable homes are available across all Canberra, including in the urban renewal areas, the ACT Government has introduced the Affordable Housing Target. The target represents a minimum number of affordable homes in each development of Government land. This will ensure that homes are made available for people to live closer to places of employment, have better access to public transport and have a choice of different housing types across the city.

What is an Affordable Home?

Homes are defined as affordable when a household spends no more than 30 per cent of their gross income on mortgage or rent payments (including both interest and capital repayments).

Mortgage payments are calculated using: the standard monthly variable interest rate series published by the Reserve Bank of Australia, averaged over the year; assumes 10 per cent deposit on the full purchase price; and repayments over a 25 year loan contract.

Price thresholds apply to affordable homes based on the net living area.

How is the price threshold determined?

Under the annual Affordable Housing Target, the price of affordable homes will be capped depending on the dimensions of the net living area. The net living area is defined as:

Apartments and townhouses

The area for apartments and townhouses is measured to the outside face of external walls and to the centre line of party walls between both units and common areas.

A typical single bedroom apartment would be approximately 50m2.

A two bedroom apartment would be approximately 80m2.

Detached houses

The area for detached houses is measures to the outside face of external walls, including internal walls between the living areas and garage (but excluding the garage).

A typical three bedroom home would be approximately 160m2.

What types of homes are available?

They type and location of affordable homes will be identified annually as part of the Housing Affordability Targets in June each year. They will typically include a mix of units/apartments, townhouses and detached houses.

The type and location of available affordable homes are listed on the Affordable Home Purchase database.

Do I need pre-approved finance to register my interest?

You do not need pre-approved finance to register your interest on the Affordable Home Purchase database.

When the affordable housing product you are interested in becomes available, you will be invited to apply to become an Eligible Applicant. The ACT Government recommends that you seek independent financial and/or legal advice at this point.

How do I become an Eligible Applicant?

When an affordable housing product becomes available, the ACT Government will contact those on the Affordable Home Purchase database who have registered an interest in that product. They will need to provide evidence of eligibility within 14 days (or within 30 days of a request for more information).

What is a successful applicant?

When an Eligible Applicant has confirmed their interest in an available affordable housing product, they will be entered into a randomly-drawn ballot. If their name is drawn, they become a successful applicant and their details will be provided to the builder/developer.

Am I guaranteed an affordable home if I register?

Registering your interest and applying to enter a ballot does not guarantee you will be offered an affordable home.

If you are not offered an affordable home in one financial year, your registration will roll over to the next financial year.

I’m interested, what do I do now?

The first step is to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and register your interest on the ACT Government Affordable Home Purchase database.

For more information, you can call Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or email your questions to affordablehousing@act.gov.au.

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