Chief Minister Andrew Barr has today advised that 15 houses have been purchased and more than 200 homeowners have accepted the offer made by the ACT Government to purchase their home through the Mr Fluffy Buyback Program.
The announcement comes after news last night that the ACT Government has offered a Forrest family $3 million to buy back their Mr Fluffy home. The family has not yet accepted the offer.
Barr said he is confident that the current program is fair, responsible and the most affordable.
“Even in its current form, the buyback and demolition program is on the edge of affordability for the Territory and continues to put pressure on the Territory’s budget. The Territory will not make a profit from this scheme but a loss in order of $400 million,” he said in a statement.
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“However, it is important to note that the ACT community is purchasing these houses at full market value overlooking that they are affected by loose fill asbestos. Stamp duty waivers are being provided on the purchase of another property in the ACT or to repurchase the block.
“Relocation assistance packages which are up to $14,000 for a family of four (two adults and two dependents) are being provided. This allows homeowners, who without the scheme might not be able to sell their property, to move on to buy an equivalent home.”
To date the ACT Government has provided $2.5 million in financial assistance payments to families and another $1.3 million to fund asbestos assessments of properties.
Barr also acknowledged the “unknowns causing frustrations for homeowners,” including future values of affected blocks and uncertainty over when particular houses will be demolished.
“As soon as the taskforce can provide more detail, it will,” he said.