JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Capital at housing affordability 'crisis point', organisation says


Stephanie Anderson

Housing costs in Canberra have skyrocketed by 63 per cent over the past six years, according to community housing organisation ACT Shelter.

The average price of a Canberra home almost doubled between 2000 and 2003 alone according to the organisation, whose chairperson Deb Pippen said the capital had reached a "crisis point" in housing affordability.

"Available crisis accommodation is unable to meet needs and every night people in the ACT seeking refuge are turned away and forced to sleep either in their car, in inappropriate situations and even on the street," she said.

The figures were detailed in ACT Shelter's policy statement, launched at Havelock House on Monday, which called for increased awareness of and investment in housing affordability.

The development of an Indigenous housing strategy was amongst the recommendations outlined in the document, which stated that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples experience disproportionately high rates of homelessness and overcrowding.

While Indigenous people comprise less than 2 per cent of the ACT population, ACT Shelter stated that approximately 10 per cent of people accessing specialist homelessness services in the capital were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

ACT Shelter also recommended training for housing staff to improve responses to mental health and housing matters; exploring new housing models for students and apprentices; and increasing crisis accommodation.

Housing Minister Shane Rattenbury attended the launch, telling the crowd that the government's land release program was due to slow down as staff ploughed through an earlier backlog.

"If you go back to the previous term, they got behind and they've put a lot of effort into catching up," he said.

"The latest projections are that the rate of land sales will start to slow down again now because they feel like they've got over the hump."

However federal Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh, also speaking at the event, said Canberrans were living in a city of "huge supply constraints".

"It's always seemed odd to me that the second most expensive city in Australia should be the one that's surrounded by sheep paddocks," he said.


  • "The average price of a Canberra home almost doubled between 2000 and 2003"

    Do they have any data to back up that claim...I am massively against rising house prices, but I do not believe those figures would be remotely accurate.

    Date and time
    December 11, 2012, 8:24AM
    • I bought a house in 2000 for $122k and sold it in 2005 for $295k. I had done some small bathroom renovations, painted, polished floors, converted a large garage to a liveable area but with no plumbing and put in a garden. It was a much more presentable house but with no major renovations. The irony is that after years of illness and being unemployed I had to return to Canberra and now cannot afford a rental property living on a pension let alone be able to ever consider buying. I am so sick of the statistics that keep saying Canberra is an affordable place to live. If you have a very well paying job, or are a couple who are both employed then you can. Other than that forget it.

      Its true
      Date and time
      December 11, 2012, 10:19AM
  • Pretty good indicator that neither side really gets the issue; supply is one thing, supply of AFFORDABLE land is another. When you pay $200-250k for a postage stamp sized block add the $250k house you’re looking at $450-500k but if you’re paying $150k for said stamp plus house is $400k.

    Wing Nut
    Date and time
    December 11, 2012, 10:21AM
    • Have to agree with Wing Nut. The price of land is appalling (It doesn't affect me. I already have a house).

      What intellectual Nullabor came up with the idea that over-priced, tiny parcels of land with shoody over-priced architecturally challenged hovels on it would increase peoples' perception of their way of life?

      Probably the same cloth-eared idiot who came up with the idea that high-rise shanty towns would solve the long term housing crisis and make this city a more beautiful one.

      Nimby, Nimby
      Date and time
      December 11, 2012, 3:38PM
Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

Follow Us

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo