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Greens leader Shane Rattenbury owns negatively geared investment properties in light rail corridor

Greens leader and cabinet minister Shane Rattenbury owns negatively geared investment properties, one of which is likely to benefit from light rail and the government's urban renewal and public housing strategies.

Mr Rattenbury's use of negative gearing is directly at odds with the official policy of the federal Greens, who want to remove the tax break to return "fairness to our housing market" and improve housing affordability.

Details of the property investments were fully and properly declared last year, and Mr Rattenbury said the purchases presented no direct conflicts of interest and were made on the basis of information already widely-available to the general public.

Mr Rattenbury's statement of registrable interests reveals that he purchased two investment properties last year; one at the Mayfair complex in Civic, and another at the Astin Apartments, on the corner of Northbourne Avenue and Ipima Street in Braddon.

The Astin apartments are located in an area that is set to significantly benefit from elements of government policy.

The complex sits in the light rail corridor, which is likely to significantly increase adjoining land values, although Mr Rattenbury purchased the property well after the decision on light rail stage one was made.

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The area is also set to significantly benefit from the government's city and gateway urban renewal strategy, which will see investment and development on Northbourne Avenue, including the creation of a "public boulevard" leading into Civic.

The Astin complex is also next door to the ageing Northbourne Avenue public housing stock, which the government has decided to demolish and replace with modern residences.

Mr Rattenbury said he had been open and transparent about his investments, and that no direct conflicts of interest existed with his portfolios, which are currently justice, corrections, education, and road safety, although were territory and municipal services until January.

He said he supported the Greens' policy on negative gearing, and that he had always planned to use a progressive affordable housing model, named Homeground, to rent out the apartments at a discounted rate to low-income tenants.

Mr Rattenbury said he was still "actively pursuing" that model.

"I am in the very fortunate position of being able to make financial investments like these, a position I know many Canberrans are not in," Mr Rattenbury said.

"That is why when I purchased the Astin property last year, I investigated ways in which I could make sure my investments were socially responsible and discovered the Homeground Real Estate model in Melbourne – a not-for-profit model which rents out investment properties to low-income earners at below market rates," he said.

"The ACT Greens will soon announce a number of measures, including the Homeground model, as part of our housing package that will make housing more affordable for Canberrans."

His second apartment, at the Mayfair complex in Civic, is still under construction, but is expected to soon be complete.

That development is a project of developer Barry Morris, director of Morris Property Group.

Mr Morris is also part of the Amalgamated Property Group, from which the government purchased Glebe Park land in controversial circumstances.

Mr Rattenbury said he had no relationship with Mr Morris, and couldn't recall having met him, although he said it was possible they had been introduced at a public event.

Mr Rattenbury has actively campaigned on housing affordability in the lead-up to October's election, pledging at the party's campaign launch to introduce a Nightingale model, which capped returns to investors, involved buyers in decision-making, and gave architects the lead, rather than developers.

The model is designed to increase the supply of affordable housing.

He also promised the Greens would dedicate government land to creating affordable housing.

Mr Rattenbury said he fully supported the Greens' policy of reforming negative gearing.

"While my investments do generate some tax deductions, I support the Australian Greens' proposal to reform negative gearing and am committed to delivering more affordable housing, to more people who need it," he said.

"Part of that means creating ways for people who are as fortunate as I am to use their investment properties to fund affordable housing, and I am looking forward to announcing that component of our Affordable Housing package soon."

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