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Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Dickson public housing development on the way

Today the site and concept for 21 new public housing properties in Dickson was announced by the ACT Minister for Housing and Suburban Development Yvette Berry, who said the development will be complete by the middle of next year.

“This is a continuation of our nation-leading investment in public housing to make sure we meet demand as the city grows,” she said.

“The development in Dickson continues the program’s focus of improving public housing through the renewal of older, less efficient homes and increasing the number of properties that are designed and built to provide more choice and meet the needs of more Canberrans.”

Like a public housing development near the Dickson shops unveiled in February, the newly announced Morphett Street development is part of the ACT Government’s Growing and Renewing Public Housing Program.

Ms Berry said the new build was planned with strategic land use and amenity in mind.

“The development has been designed to consider the best use of the area and block size to create a sense of space and privacy between homes and neighbours.”

Six old dwellings on the site will be replaced by 21 energy efficient homes in a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom units, and two-bedroom townhouses, to be built by a local construction company.

The Growing and Renewing Public Housing strategy focusses on renewing and selling existing standalone dwellings that are older, inefficient, no longer meet tenant needs or are no longer viable to upgrade.

Some of the properties identified for demolition are vacant, others are occupied by tenants who are approached by Housing ACT relocation officers to make the transition easier.

Housing ACT provides financial assistance of up to $2,500 for tenant relocation costs.

In the last quarter of 2020, 97% of public housing properties were occupied.

The announcement of today’s 21-dwelling development is another small step toward reducing a shortfall of approximately 3000 social houses in the ACT.

In January 2021, ACT Council of Social Services (ACTCOSS) CEO Dr Emma Campbell said applicants for standard public housing wait over three years for a home, and the private rental market was prohibitively expensive.

“The 2020 Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot found that no private rentals in Canberra and Queanbeyan were affordable for a person on the Disability Support Pension, JobSeeker, Youth Allowance or Parenting Payment Single without the Coronavirus supplement,” she said.

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