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Demand for public housing outstripping supply

08 October 2014 Staff Reporter

Demand for public housing continues to grow in Canberra while the overall number of dwellings has decreased, new figures have shown.

The Community Services Directorate's annual report showed the number of households on Housing ACT's waiting list increased by 2.8 per cent to 2,293 at June 30 this year.

However, the total number of public housing homes declined by 72, when compared to last year's figure.

The report said demand "continues to exceed supply", and attributed much of the pressure on the public housing system to "longer-term issues associated with private rental affordability".


The report also showed a two per cent increase in spending repairs, maintenance and upgrade works, up from $38.4 million in 2012/2013 to $39.2 million in 2013/2014.

Almost $1.3 million was owed by public housing tenants at the close of the last financial year, down slightly by about $118,000 from the previous year, data from Housing ACT showed.

The report said Housing ACT negotiated repayment agreements with tenants to ensure they were not pushed into housing stress.

"Under these agreements a tenant cannot pay more than 30 per cent of the gross weekly household income to meet rent and rental arrears," the report said.

"It can therefore take some time for a debt to be fully paid and the overall debt level to reduce."

The report showed 60 dwellings were acquired in the last financial year, 49 of which were built and 11 of which were purchased.

That was a 56 per cent decrease from the year prior, in which 127 homes were acquired.


Demand for public housing outstripping supply
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