Advocacy groups welcome ACT landlord tax exemptions

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Social policy and housing advocacy organisations have welcomed the extension of land tax exemptions for landlords who provide cheaper rentals but warn there is more work to do in solving the ACT’s housing crisis.

ACT Shelter CEO Travis Gilbert said while the measure offers hope to some Canberra households, the ACT Government needs to go much further to ease cost of living pressures in the Territory.

“We know local community housing providers are ready and waiting to play a greater role in providing affordable, safe and secure homes to Canberrans failed by our city’s red hot housing market,” he said.

“We urge Treasury to do everything it can to ensure affordable and social housing projects stack up for them at scale.”

The ACT Government announced on Thursday it would indefinitely extend land tax exemptions for landlords who rent their properties at 75% of market value through a registered community housing provider.

Homelessness and Housing Services Minister Rebecca Vassarotti said she hopes the changes will “transform the view of housing, as a right and a community good rather than as a vehicle for wealth generation”.

The ACT Council of Social Service has also welcomed the extension of the scheme, but CEO Emma Campbell said more public housing and investment in community housing is needed.

“To solve the ongoing affordable housing crisis in Canberra, we need to see a multifaceted approach rather than a one-size-fits all solution. Creative and diverse solutions such as this scheme are a part of that,” Dr Campbell said.

“Canberra’s community housing providers have shovel-ready projects but need access to affordable land, rates exemptions, inclusionary zoning and other planning supports.”

She said the indefinite exemption makes the scheme more attractive to landlords as a viable, long-term property management option.

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