ACT Council of Social Services Director Ara Creswell was incorrect that say that none of the $10 million a year over three years the Government had pledged to spend on public housing had been delivered, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today.
Commenting on Ms Creswell’s claim, Mr Stanhope said that in fact the $10 million promised for 2006-07 had in fact been spent, acquiring 25 properties for some of Canberra’s neediest families.
The investment had delivered two two-bedroom properties and seven four-bedroom properties in Tuggeranong, three two-bedroom properties and one four-bedroom property in Belconnen, six four-bedroom properties and two five-bedroom properties in Gungahlin, one two-bedroom and one three-bedroom property in Woden-Weston Creek, one two-bedroom property in the inner north and one two-bedroom property in the inner south.
As a result of this investment, ACT Housing had been able to accommodate nine households consisting of single women with children, two households consisting of single fathers with children, four households consisting of couples with four or more children, one household with two adults and two children, two single-tenant households and one disability household with two tenants.
The purchase of two properties had been settled but they were not yet tenanted, while the purchase of the remaining properties was expected to be concluded this month.
Mr Stanhope said the program would continue at the same level for the next two years with an emphasis on two-bedroom and four-bedroom properties, to address areas of mismatch between stock and the needs of applicants. The result would be a $30 million investment in public housing, as pledged.
He said it was unhelpful for an organisation like the ACT Council of Social Services, which had the interests of needy Canberrans at heart, to make baseless allegations and he said he looked forward to bringing ACTCOSS up to speed on the investments the Government was making to improve housing affordability in the national capital, at a briefing on the 2007-08 Budget next week.