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Industry collaboration and innovation see ACT Government win award for excellence

The ACT Government’s public housing renewal program has been awarded the 2018 Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW/ACT award for Excellence in Social Infrastructure.

The award category, which received a record number of entries from high calibre competition, saw judges commend the ACT Government - and in particular the Public Housing Renewal Taskforce - on its innovation and leadership in the management, operation and social benefits of the public housing renewal program.

Since it commenced in late 2014, the public housing renewal program has worked closely with many sectors within the construction industry to oversee the build and purchase of more than 800 new public housing properties across Canberra.

The program is delivering the largest renewal of public housing in the ACT’s history, replacing 10% of the public housing portfolio over the life of the program. By the time the program winds up mid-2019, it will have replaced 1,288 of Canberra’s oldest and highly-concentrated public housing developments, with modern, energy efficient homes that are better dispersed throughout Canberra and will suit the contemporary and future needs of tenants.

The sale of the old multi-unit public housing sites along the Northbourne Corridor and the inner city has enabled the government to activate renewal in those areas and invest in other important infrastructure. By signing up to the Commonwealth’s Asset Recycling Initiative, the Territory will receive a 15% incentive payment on top of the sales price of each site, which is being reinvested into Canberra’s light rail network.

It’s important to acknowledge that a key factor in the renewal program’s success has been the support and contribution from Canberra’s local builders and developers, including many HIA members. The public housing renewal program is making a real difference in improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable people and families in our community and this award recognises the collaboration between Government and industry to achieve social benefits through such a large and complex program.

The ACT Government remains committed to the sustained renewal of key areas of the city and improving the outcomes for public housing tenants and the wider Canberra community, and the construction industry will continue to play an important role in that renewal.