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Do you want to pay $1.4 billion for the Greens’ housing plans?

By johnboy - 21 June 2011 8

Labor’s Joy Burch has come out swinging against the housing policies of her partners in Government, the Greens, and their public housing policies:

The ACT Greens must explain to the Canberra community how they would pay for their call to increase public housing by 30 per cent in 10 years, which would cost more than $1.4 billion to achieve, ACT Minister for Housing Joy Burch said today.

Ms Burch said the ACT Greens must also identify what programs or services they would cut to meet the $18 million a year increase in recurrent spending that increasing stock levels by more than 3500 dwellings would entail to service and staff the additional properties.

“If the ACT Greens take a policy of increasing public housing stock by 30 per cent by 2021 to next year’s election, they need to be upfront with the community about the price tag attached to it, and identify how they would pay the $140 million-a-year in capital works required to fulfil it,” Ms Burch said.

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
Do you want to pay $1.4 billion for the Greens’ housing plans?
The Frots 9:52 am 22 Jun 11

Chop71 said :

No

+1. It’s a really easy answer.

Chop71 9:46 am 22 Jun 11

No

JC 8:36 pm 21 Jun 11

Watson said :

And $150K for a 3 bedroom house sounds a bit unrealistic too. Surely it wouldn’t include all the fittings and floor coverings, etc.

That price is realistic for construction costs, but clearly at the smaller end of the scale. Also need to remember they would build in bulk so the cost would be lower than what it would cost an individual to build.

Gungahlin Al 8:30 pm 21 Jun 11

“Do you want to pay $1.4 billion for the Greens’ housing plans? “

That’s assuming one accepts the premise of the Minister’s argument first.

A lot of this housing is happening out our way, with the land being sold to CHC and them as developers building a mix of owner/residents and social housing. The Government stll gets to sell the land to CHC but then loans them some of the money to buy it. No dout there’d be similar arrangements for redevelopment of the A/B/C and Northbourne flats. Going to be a heck of a lot of $millions in those five projects alone!

Maybe the minister needs to say how much they’ll be spending anyway and therefore what the difference is, rather than the entire amount? Because it seems to me she concedes the increase as $18m per year – so $180m over 10 years? A little bit of a difference?

Watson 5:50 pm 21 Jun 11

arescarti42 said :

chewy14 said :

The government also can’t sell that land to anyone else if they build public housing on it.

That’s true, but the land component isn’t something that necessarily needs to be financed entirely out of the budget at market price like Joy Burch seems to be suggesting.

It would still need to be included in the cost, but in the ‘lost revenue’ column. And $150K for a 3 bedroom house sounds a bit unrealistic too. Surely it wouldn’t include all the fittings and floor coverings, etc.

You’re very right about a large proportion of public housing not being houses though. I think they usually only give houses to people with kids. And I don’t know what percentage of the total on the waiting list is.

And I think it would make sense to put some public housing in those new suburbs and cheaper than the alternatives. Especially if you factor in the low maintenance costs in the first few years. And we do need more public housing. So if they can find the money, I’m all for it.

arescarti42 5:10 pm 21 Jun 11

chewy14 said :

The government also can’t sell that land to anyone else if they build public housing on it.

That’s true, but the land component isn’t something that necessarily needs to be financed entirely out of the budget at market price like Joy Burch seems to be suggesting.

chewy14 3:03 pm 21 Jun 11

arescarti42 said :

One thing that is worth pointing out is that that $1.4 billion figure assumes that the additional 3570 dwellings will cost $400k on average.

A quick look at the Simonds Homes website shows that there a plethora of different 3-4 bedroom home designs that can be built for $150-200k, if the government is putting public housing in new suburbs then it doesn’t have to buy the land from someone else.

Also consider that not all public housing is detached 3-4 bedroom houses, a lot of them are townhouses and flats, which I suspect are considerably cheaper per dwelling than detached houses.

So that $1.4 billion figure seems unrealistically large to me.

The government also can’t sell that land to anyone else if they build public housing on it.

arescarti42 12:49 pm 21 Jun 11

One thing that is worth pointing out is that that $1.4 billion figure assumes that the additional 3570 dwellings will cost $400k on average.

A quick look at the Simonds Homes website shows that there a plethora of different 3-4 bedroom home designs that can be built for $150-200k, if the government is putting public housing in new suburbs then it doesn’t have to buy the land from someone else.

Also consider that not all public housing is detached 3-4 bedroom houses, a lot of them are townhouses and flats, which I suspect are considerably cheaper per dwelling than detached houses.

So that $1.4 billion figure seems unrealistically large to me.

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