- Exemptions eligible to landlords that rent properties out for less than 75% market rate
- Scheme currently covers 250 properties from 54 landlords
- ACT Government expresses disappointment in the Federal Budget's lack of social housing policies
To help address rental affordability across Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has announced it has indefinitely extended land tax exemptions for those who rent their properties at less than 75% of the market rate.
Legislation has been passed by the Legislative Assembly that removes the expiry date for the scheme which has seen an increase from 125 to 250 properties, according to Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
“Rental property owners in the ACT can reduce their land tax completely if they provide their rental property to Canberrans on low to moderate incomes through a registered community housing provider,” he said.
“Landlords are now being encouraged to sign up to the scheme to increase the amount of affordable rentals in the Territory while they reduce their rental property liabilities.”
Andrew Barr, ACT Chief Minister
According to the ACT Government, there are 54 landlords involved in the scheme.
“Incentives such as these empower the community to make a real difference to people’s lives…Every Canberran, no matter their circumstances, should have access to safe and affordable housing that suits their needs,” continued Mr Barr.
Rebecca Vassarotti, the Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services, concedes that Canberra is an expensive place and there is a lack of affordable housing.
She said the land tax exemptions scheme allows the community to get involved in a direct, visible and people-focused way to tackle the housing crisis.
“These changes will empower more Canberrans to contribute a significant piece of the puzzle as we work toward ensuring everyone has a place to call home,” she said.
“We hope that changes such as this will help to transform the view of housing, as a right and a community good rather than as a vehicle for wealth generation.”
“This alone can’t solve the affordability crisis, but an important initiative to actively engage homeowners who care to help Canberrans in need access a home. It’s not just a tax incentive, it’s a contribution landlords can be proud of.”
Rebecca Vassarotti, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services
Notably, there has been a growth in the number of landlords participating in the scheme, which was a factor in deciding to extend the scheme.
Ms Vassarotti, however, expressed disappointment in a lack of social housing measures in Tuesday’s Federal Budget.
“While the ACT Government remains committed to ensuring equitable access to housing for all Canberrans, we need the Federal Government to step up by investing in much needed social housing. It is a missed opportunity in this week’s to stimulate the economy and address the housing crisis nationally.”
Last Thursday, the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, announced a $10 billion Housing Australia Future fund designed to facilitate the construction of over 20,000 new homes during the next five years.