We’ll also soon be holding our first in-person members and supporters meet-up, at 2pm on Saturday 16 July at King O’Malley’s. The event will be a chance to meet up with other pro-housing Canberrans, find out more about how to support important housing projects across Canberra, and help kick-start our next round of advocacy work. You can RSVP online via Facebook, or just send us an email.
What we’ve been up to
In June, we were proud to share our first major policy submission as an organisation, as part of the 2022-23 ACT Budget consultation. The submission focused on how Canberra’s high rents are hurting residents and turning new arrivals away from the ACT. Our analysis showed that higher rents over the past few years have led fewer people to move to Canberra for work or family, hurting businesses and our broader community, and was covered in Canberra Weekly.
We followed this up with our bumper submission to the ACT Government’s draft Planning Bill, which recommended a range of changes to the Bill to reduce nuisance ACAT cases that stop new homes being built, improve consultation processes to ensure they reflect the voices of all Canberrans (not just those who are loudest!), and put affordability at the heart of our planning system. We’ll have more to say on the draft Planning Bill as it proceeds to a committee inquiry.
We also celebrated two major wins on housing projects for which we’ve previously advocated. In early June the Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman MLA, signed Draft Variation 375 to enable the Griffith ‘Manor House’ project to proceed to the development application stage. This was after a concerted effort by a number of our members, starting with an open letter in support of the project.
And just last week, we were delighted to see the Minister for Planning approve the YWCA’s YHomes social housing project in Ainslie. Despite the project providing supportive housing for nine women at risk of homelessness, it was the subject of concerted opposition from a minority of local residents. Congratulations to the YWCA for persevering with this much-needed project, and a big thank you to all those who wrote in to support the YWCA’s updated development application. Thanks to your efforts, 190 out of 257 submissions to the recent development application were supportive of the project proceeding.
We were also very happy to see Deputy Convenor Michael Turvey getting some well-earned media coverage for their rent increase calculator, which enables tenants to check whether rent hikes proposed by their landlord are permitted under ACT law. We were also pleased to see our Convenor Howard Maclean in the news recently, discussing how heritage listing buildings in prime locations can be a barrier to more sustainable urban design.
How you can get involved
We’re currently looking to get members and supporters on-board to help us in a range of projects including:
- Helping us build connections with like-minded organisations
- Writing submissions in support of new housing projects
- Building our base of members and supporters.
If you’re keen to get involved or get in touch, feel free to send us an email, contact us via Facebook or Twitter, or join up as a member on our website. And don’t forget to say hello at our next in-person catch-up!