​Canberra Liberals urge investigation of solutions to ease the ACT’s rental crisis


The ball is now squarely in the Labor-Greens Government’s court to fix the ACT’s spiralling rental costs as the Canberra Liberals call for an investigation of multiple solutions to ease the ACT’s rental crisis.

“Canberra has become the country’s most expensive rental market under Labor and the Greens, and the reality is that many families are seriously struggling with massive price hikes,” Shadow Minister for Housing Mark Parton said today.

“Recent Corelogic data shows median house rents are now $657 per week while unit rents are $473 per week. That’s a hell of a lot for families with stretched incomes to contend with.

“The Labor-Greens Government is all talk on rental affordability. That is why today the Canberra Liberals are calling for the investigation of a number of solutions, many involving community housing providers (CHPs), that the Government should seriously consider adopting, to help make life easier for Canberra families dealing with prohibitive rents.”

In a motion to the Assembly next week, the Canberra Liberals will call on the Labor-Greens Government to:

  • Investigate shared equity arrangements – where the Government provides land for CHPs to provide housing, while maintaining an ownership stake.
  • Investigate rent supplementation lease arrangements – where the Government would undertake bulk auctions of long-terms leases to CHPs. The supplement would provide an incentive for institutional investment partnerships with CHPs.
  • Immediately extend lease durations currently let out to CHPs by Housing ACT. This would allow long-term certainty for CHPs to borrow and grow.
  • Consider more extensive land tax exemptions and rates rebates for landholders leasing to CHPs.
  • Investigate a NSW style land tax threshold where the tax is only paid on the value of the land over a certain amount.
  • Reassess the current land release regime to determine whether supply is meeting demand.

“The Labor-Greens Government needs to acknowledge the crisis it’s created and embrace new policy ideas, especially with regards to how CHPs can be part of the affordable housing solution for struggling renting families.

“The Canberra Liberals are putting these ideas forward in good faith and I now challenge the Labor-Greens Government to take them on board and consider them as part of their policy mix going forward in 2021,” Mr Parton concluded.