Glossary

ACT Affordable Housing Action Plan: the Affordable Housing Action Plan was the key policy platform to address housing affordability across all tenures and income ranges between 2007 and 2017.

ACT Indicative Land Release Program: the Indicative Land Release Program is an annual publication that describes the proposed areas of land that will be released to the market in a particular year.

Affordable housing: affordable housing is housing that is appropriate for the needs of a range of very low to moderate income households, and priced (whether mortgage repayments or rent) so these households are able to meet their other essential basic living costs. It differs to social housing which is provided and/or managed by the government (public housing) or by a not-for-profit organisation (community housing). Housing is often defined as affordable when a household spends less than 30% of their income on housing costs, and that household falls within the lowest 40% of household incomes (see definition of housing stress below).

Common Ground: common Ground Canberra was established to provide long-term, high quality housing options for people on low income, and a solution for people who experience chronic homelessness. It provides purpose-built accommodation in Gungahlin for people who have experienced homelessness (20 units) and people who are on low incomes who require affordable housing (20 units).

Commonwealth Rent Assistance: a non-taxable income supplement payable by the Commonwealth Government to eligible people who rent in the private or community housing rental markets (public housing tenants do not receive CRA).

Community housing: housing for people on low incomes provided by registered Community Housing Organisations (under the Housing Assistance Act 2007). Community housing is a subset of affordable housing as defined above. Community housing providers generally provide a mix of rental rates for different tenants - some rents are set at a proportion of the tenant's income (social), others are set at a proportion of market-based rental rates (affordable).

Digital Service Platform: an online interactive platform that provides information for current and future ACT Housing tenants.

Greenfield: greenfield areas are made up of undeveloped land outside of the existing urban footprint. Often located on the edge of existing urban areas. Greenfield development requires full assessment of environmental, infrastructure and planning issues, to determine future use and suitability for expansion of the city.

Head-leased community housing: community housing provided in properties owned by Housing ACT, but leased by Community Housing Organisations (under the Housing Assistance Act 2007).

Homelessness: definitions of homelessness range from objective measures of 'no roof' to subjective measures based on ideas of 'home'.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics Census is the primary data source for measuring homelessness in Australia and operates using a 2012 definition that a person is homeless if they do not have suitable accommodation alternatives and their current living arrangement:

This definition of homelessness includes people without suitable accommodation alternatives who are sleeping rough, staying in improvised dwellings/tents, supported accommodation, transitional housing, boarding houses, couch surfing, with friends/relatives or in severely overcrowded dwellings.

Housing affordability: the relationship between expenditure on housing (prices, mortgage payments or rents) and household incomes.

Housing stress: a household is defined as being in housing stress when it pays more than 30% of its gross income in housing costs and its income is amongst the lowest 40% of all households.

Human Services Gateway: the integrated entry point to the human services system for the ACT community. The Gateway Lead Provider, currently Onelink, helps Canberrans access the services that they need across a range of universal and targeted services including housing and homelessness, tenancy support, disability and family, child and youth support.

Income quintile 1: in the ACT, this include households earning up to $55,000 per annum.

Income quintile 2: in the ACT, this includes households earning between $55,000 and $100,000 per annum.

Infill: Development of unused or underutilised land in existing urban areas. It involves increasing the capacity of our existing urban area to support growth.

National Housing and Homelessness Agreement: an agreement between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories recognising the mutual interest and need to work together to improve housing outcomes across the housing spectrum, including outcomes for Australians who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

Public housing: housing for people on low incomes provided by Housing ACT (under the Housing Assistance Act 2007).

Public Housing Renewal Program: a program of renewal to replace some of the Territory's oldest multiunit public housing properties. 1288 older properties in the city and inner suburbs are being replaced with modern residences built or purchased in other areas of Canberra.

Rental Bonds Loan Program: a program run by Housing ACT to assist people on low to moderate incomes to rent suitable properties in the private sector through provision of an interest-free loan to assist in covering the cost of the bond.

Sustainable development: forms of development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Town centre: a town centre offers a wide range of facilities and services to serve the community and visitors from the surrounding district. Typically a town centre offers employment opportunities and provides higher order retail facilities, offices and consulting rooms; cultural, community and public administration; entertainment, educational, religious and residential facilities. Generally most urban districts in the ACT have a town centre providing access to goods and services bought less frequently.

Urban design: urban design is the collaborative and multi-disciplinary process of shaping the physical setting for life in cities and towns. It involves the design of buildings, groups of buildings, spaces and landscapes, and the establishment of frameworks and processes that facilitate successful development.

Urban renewal: this is the process of improving the economic, social and environmental sustainability of a particular urban area through redevelopment of underutilised urban areas. It typically involves urban redesign, infrastructure renewal and investment, and identifying precincts and land for mixed use.

Rough sleeping: a severe form of homelessness which refers to people living on the streets, sleeping in parks, squatting in derelict buildings or using cars or railway carriages for temporary shelter.

Social housing: an umbrella term describing subsidised housing for people on low to moderate incomes including public, supported and community housing.

Supported/crisis accommodation: short, medium and long-term accommodation for people with complex needs who require higher level care and support.

Supported accommodation often includes support agencies on-site.

Crisis accommodation is one form of supported accommodation where individuals and households experiencing homelessness are provided with safe emergency accommodation for a short period while receiving support to transition to longer term, stable accommodation. For example, women's refuges for women escaping domestic and family violence (with or without children) who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are classified as crisis accommodation and provide a range of case management support services, including, in some cases, on-site assistance.

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