Our city is facing its worst housing crisis in decades. Behind Sydney, Canberra is the second most expensive Australian city in which to rent and buy a home. The ACT’s rates of persistent homelessness are almost twice the national average, and have been the highest in the country since at least 2018-19. We are currently facing a social housing shortage of 3,100 dwellings in the ACT and are projected to lose another 1,056 social and affordable homes with the National Rental Affordability Scheme coming to a close. While demand-side issues need also to be addressed, increasing housing supply is the most effective lever to pull in tackling Canberra’s housing crisis.
The sale of Commonwealth and Territory land for development – supported by well-designed green spaces and good public & active transport routes – can serve as the primary funding vehicle for the remaining infrastructure commitments in this vision for Canberra, with the potential not only to make the plan cost-neutral but even to return a significant windfall to the respective budgets of both parties.
At least 10% of the dwellings built as part of new developments in Civic, Bruce and Ginninderra should be set aside for social and affordable housing.