Delivering affordable housing continues to be the ACT Government’s blind spot

The delivery of this year’s ACT Territory Budget this week included a modest surplus, and with this, the ACT Government has found itself with some room to move in relation to providing a greater level of community infrastructure and support for the first time in a number of years.

With a strong economy, low unemployment and a growing city, the Government should be investing in our people and our community. For many years, community advocates and service providers have been highlighting gaps in service delivery and support. With the first surplus in a number of years, this budget has seen the Government respond and fill some of these gaps.

This budget has seen some welcome injection of funds into the key areas of health and human services. The budget has included a significant investment to increase hospital and other health services and a significant increase in the area of mental health – including support for residential services, outreach services for young people and early intervention. The increased investment for people with disabilitiesis very welcome, particularly given some of the challenges in the implementation of the national disability insurance scheme. There is also some welcome funding to support innovative approaches such as funding commitments to support Canberra’s aspiration to become a restorative city and some new grants to support diversity in this city.

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