Social and community housing organisations need to be able to access land at below market rates, according to the head of one Canberra's largest providers.
Havelock Housing Association chief executive Andrew Rowe would like the ACT government to provide concessions for land to the association and others like it.
Mr Rowe said the organisation was in need of new properties but could not afford to pay market rate. He said the organisation would never recuperate the costs as properties are rented out at well below market rate.
"I'm looking for ways to invest and bring more properties online that Havelock owns but finding the best way to do that when we have to compete with private investors and have to pay full price for land and buildings, it's just not possible," he said.
"There are a couple of things [the ACT government] could do, such as providing land to us at a below market price or as a grant we then build on and develop."
Earlier this year, there were 59 land lots in Taylor released exclusively to community housing providers, but Mr Rowe said the blocks and cost to build was too high.
"The challenge that I know many of my industry colleagues had was we were expected to pay market price for the land, and not only that, we have to pay for the building and finance it," he said.
Outside of the 101-bed Havelock House in Turner, the association mainly manages properties on behalf of the ACT government, but Mr Rowe said the organisation wanted to build its assets.
"We don't hold a huge property portfolio ourselves and that is one of the challenges we have in growing and bringing properties online," he said.
"If we own the properties themselves we can leverage that to increase and expand over the years."
"The ACT Housing Strategy is noble in its goals but it misses some of the detail and some of the practicalities of actually how to make it work," Mr Rowe said.
"We need reduced cost land, land transfers or a co-investment mechanism whereby the government might hold a shared equity with the property - they own the land and we own the building and the title is in both."
Under the strategy, at least 15 per cent of the government land release program must be dedicated to public, community and affordable housing annually.
"The ACT government believes every Canberran, no matter their circumstances, should have access to safe and affordable housing that suits their needs," ACT minister for housing Yvette Berry said.
"In October 2018, the ACT government made a commitment through the ACT Housing Strategy to invest $100 million into the growth and renewal of the public housing portfolio.
"In May 2019, the ACT government built on that commitment through the release of the Growing and Renewing Public Housing 2019-24 plan that set out how the government will renew 1000 homes and add 200 homes to the public housing stock over five years."
A spokeswoman for ACT minister for housing Yvette Berry said the government was committed "to growing and diversifying" the community housing sector, but it does not "currently" provide for house and land packages to providers.
"The community housing target will support community housing providers to provide additional rental properties and to grow their capacity," she said.
"The ACT Housing Strategy also includes measures for the government to work with community housing providers to develop more affordable rental properties and to investigate alternate land delivery mechanisms."