Housing revamp spearheads urban renewal
Today in the ACT Legislative Assembly, I outlined the ACT Government’s vision to deliver urban renewal in Canberra’s city. A major overhaul of the ACT’s public housing is one of the key pillars of our commitment to urban renewal across Canberra and work to replace ageing housing stock is progressing well.
Urban renewal is vital to growing Canberra’s economy and helps to strengthen our community. Our public housing tenants deserve to share in this renewal. Currently, there are a number of multi unit blocks that are old and tired. They have reached the end of their useful life. They were built quickly, to the standards of a different time, and bringing them up to contemporary building or energy efficiency standards is simply not a viable option.
That’s why the ACT Government has committed to a public housing renewal as part of our urban renewal agenda. Cabinet recently approved the necessary steps to replace Owen Flats in Lyneham, with brand new units at Chisholm, Monash and Nicholls. The surplus Owen Flats site will then be prepared for sale and development – delivering further renewal.
Housing ACT has already commenced engagement with tenants at Owen Flats, in conjunction with community partners. This work will continue throughout the renewal program.
The tenants of Owen Flats will be relocated prior to sale, and all tenants will be offered appropriate accommodation in identified sites within the inner north, city and other locations taking into consideration their individual preferences and needs.
This program is being led by the government’s Public Housing Renewal Taskforce, which was established in September 2014 and will replace 1288 outdated public housing units.
As part of the renewal program, the ACT Government is investing in public housing that better meets the needs of tenants, now and into the future. In doing so, it is driving the urban renewal of our city. As I told the Assembly today, properties identified to form the first stage of the government’s public housing renewal program, include:
- Bega Court – Reid;
- Currong Apartments and Allawah Court – Braddon;
- Dickson Flats and connected vacant land – Northbourne Avenue;
- Dickson Garden Flats (Karuah);
- Lyneham and DeBurgh (North and South) – Lyneham;
- Northbourne Flats – Braddon;
- Northbourne Flats – Turner;
- Owen Flats – Lyneham;
- Red Hill Housing Precinct;
- Strathgordon Court – Lyons; and
- Stuart Flats – Griffith.
As with all changes in public housing arrangements, residents are being consulted and Housing ACT staff and community services support agencies will be working closely with tenants to make sure they have a residence that meets their individual needs.
Another key part of the ACT Government’s plan to revitalise the city is through the renewal of office accommodation and the improvement of government service provision in the inner city. Examples include:
- the relocation of the Dickson Ambulance Station to a new location in the inner north as part of the ACT ESA’s Station Upgrade and Relocation Program. This will ensure the ACT Ambulance Service continues to deliver the highest standards of performance; and
- the relocation of the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre from Northbourne Avenue to a location closer to some of Canberra’s main tourist drawcards.
Urban renewal represents the opportunity to cement Canberra as a city of the future – to grow the economy, to make our people healthy and smart, to keep our city liveable and most importantly to spread and share opportunity.
- Statement ends -
Section: Andrew Barr, MLA | Media Releases
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