Goal 3: Strengthening Social Housing Assistance

This goal targets the ACT Government's commitment to deliver more social housing stock to meet tenants' needs, deliver efficient and effective social housing and improve accessibility for those who need it.

Key objectives

Key achievements

The ACT has the highest per capita supply of public housing in Australia; however, demand continues to outpace supply. The ACT Government will continue to grow and renew public housing, provide suitable housing options and meet the changing demographic needs of the Canberra community. The government will also focus on improving customer experience and outcomes.

Goal 3: Objectives and Actions

Objective 3A: Grow and renew social housing to better meet demand

Australia's current housing affordability crisis is placing greater demand on the government and community sectors to provide affordable housing options for those on the lowest incomes. Nationally, the demand for social housing continues to outpace supply, with the ACT being no exception. As the housing market tightens, more people on low incomes are turning to social and other affordable housing options to relieve their housing stress.

The ACT Government is committed to delivering a social housing portfolio that is well located, of good quality, and contributes to a diverse and equitable community.


Objective 3B: Build a range of housing options that is designed to better meet the diverse and contemporary tenant needs.

The social housing system must be able to keep pace with changing community needs. This includes continuing to renew housing stock by replacing older homes with modern designs that focus on maximising energy efficiency and reducing maintenance costs.

The social housing portfolio caters to many tenants over the age of 65 (26%), or households living with disability (29%). Homes with high standards of accessibility and adaptability give individuals the option to age in place and better support people living with a disability and those who care for them.

In 2018-19, the ACT Government committed $4.4 million to expand the Mura Gunya model of housing for older persons in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community to a second site. The government will continue to focus on providing a range of social housing options that are suitable for the 2065 people in social housing who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.


The ACT Government established an unprecedented program of public housing renewal in the last term—the largest in the Territory's history. Both Labor and the Greens committed to its continuation in the Parliamentary Agreement and when it finishes in 2019, we will have provided roof-for-roof replacement of 1,288 ageing public housing homes across the ACT.

Public housing is something to celebrate and something we, as a community, continue to value and grow. That is why we will build on the work achieved by the renewal program by making a $100 million net investment in the public housing portfolio over the next five years. From 2019-20 we will start committing funds that will see growth of the public housing portfolio, as well as our existing program of renewal continued through to 2024-25.

Objective 3C: Develop a tenancy service that focuses on client outcomes and responds to individual needs

The role and duty of care of a social housing provider extends beyond the role of tenancy management. The ACT Housing Strategy encourages a dynamic individualised service that gives people greater choice over where and how they live.

Housing ACT provides rental subsidies of over $140 million every year to ensure Canberrans who need it can access support through the public housing assistance program.


Objective 3D: Provide a better customer experience through a modern and digital service platform for current and future tenants

The delivery of social housing services in the ACT needs to stay in step with the changing expectations of the community. Many Australians routinely conduct their day-to-day activities online and the community has become used to the convenience that 24/7 digital technology provides. A key outcome of the ACT Housing Strategy is the design and delivery of a digital service for social housing tenants, that will complement and augment existing non-digital options.