The Canberra Business Chamber and ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) want whoever wins the upcoming election to take notice of major issues with Canberra's housing affordability.
The two peak bodies, which jointly represent two-thirds of Canberra's workforce, are calling on the next government to step up and steer the nation's capital toward economic recovery with their shared priorities.
Key among them, ACTCOSS chief executive Dr Emma Campbell said, is securing more social and affordable housing.
"Along with Australia's top economists, our local business and community sectors agree that investment in social housing should be a top priority for government," Dr Campbell said.
"There is a shortfall of over 3000 social housing dwellings in the ACT. Addressing this shortfall would boost community and economic recovery by providing affordable housing to those in need, providing jobs, and growing local businesses, including local not-for-profit community housing providers."
Associate Professor Ben Phillips, a social researcher at the Australian National University, said high rent costs in the nation's capital make it tough for many families with lower household incomes.
"Rent levels are relatively high in Canberra with prices similar to other capital cities [and] rental affordability can be an issue for many low- and middle-income families," Professor Phillips said.
"Australia's very low unemployment benefits and very low rental assistance payments make things particularly difficult for those persons on these payments, they simply aren't enough to get by on."
Outside of housing affordability, both bodies want the government to support not-for-profit community service providers as well as look at how the territory could transition to net zero emissions without leaving businesses or those most vulnerable behind.
"Government initiatives such as climate change targets have an impact on local business," Graham Catt, the chamber's CEO, said.
"The ACT business community supports action on climate change, but we must ensure we ease the costs of transition - including capital expenses - to new energy policy settings, provide information, and ensure that the ability of ACT businesses to compete is not compromised."
The announcement comes just weeks after the Property Council and ACT Shelter also joined forces to demand more be done on housing affordability.
The federal government's figures at the end of 2019 showed nearly 4000 people had needed housing assistance in the 2018-19 year from the ACT government, with more than 1000 people experiencing homelessness.
"Homelessness is a growing concern in Canberra and one that Canberra appears not to be winning," Professor Phillips said.
"Support services need strengthening, public and community housing numbers have lowered in recent years which is not helping and the federal government needs to increase working age welfare payments."
At a public policy level, Professor Phillips believes it's not entirely up to local government to get it all done.
"There is only so much a local government can do," Professor Phillips said.
"An area for improvement would be around planning restrictions in our many inner and middle ring suburbs where building restrictions do limit the ability of Canberra to develop more of the 'missing middle' such as townhouses and dual occupancy dwellings.
"Canberra remains a very low-density city and this has implications for the efficiency of public transport, the economy and emissions."