Labor-Greens deliberate strangling of land supply plays key role in ACT housing crisis


The Canberra Liberals are calling on the ACT Labor-Greens Government to use the policy levers it has available to ease the housing affordability crisis in Canberra, including releasing more land for detached housing.

The ACT is experiencing a housing crisis with demand for detached housing significantly exceeding supply following the Labor-Greens Government deliberately strangling the supply of land.

The median price for a detached house in the ACT is over a million dollars with Canberra also home to the highest median rent in Australia.

Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee said recent land ballots for detached housing have had thousands of applicants vying for only a small number of blocks, highlighting the significant issues with supply and demand.

“The recent ballot for land in Whitlam had over 12,000 applicants for just 101 blocks of land, following over 8,000 applicants applying for just 71 blocks in Macnamara earlier this year,” Ms Lee said.

“In the face of this unfolding challenge over the past few years the Labor-Greens Government has failed to act; they have failed to hit their own already inadequate land sales targets and failed to plan for and meet demand for detached housing.

“Despite the overwhelming demand for land to build detached housing, the Labor-Greens Government only plans to release 4,171 blocks over the next five years.”

The ACT Government’s housing choices community survey of 2015, known as the ‘Winton Report’ showed that almost 85 per cent of Canberrans would prefer to live in a detached house, with some support for dual occupancies and townhouses.

The report also found that under two per cent of Canberrans want to live in an apartment block of more than three storeys, the Labor-Greens Government has simply chosen to ignore this inconvenient truth.

“This Labor-Greens Government has had over 20 years to plan properly and sustainably for the growth of Canberra, and to ensure that we have more leafy, green suburbs delivering a wider range of housing choices," said Ms Lee.

“There is certainly a place for multi-unit dwellings, but it should not be the only viable option for Canberrans who clearly want choice when it comes to housing options.

“Instead, they’re wedded to an infill agenda which does not have the broad support of the community because Labor is more concerned about keeping their Greens political partner on side.

“Canberra, the bush capital should be a city where people can choose to live in a house with a backyard if that’s what they prefer, and not get forced into high-rise apartment towers,” Ms Lee concluded.