Show your support for the Missing Middle

We need your help to push for more and better homes!

Earlier this year 15 organisations came together to create the Missing Middle Canberra campaign, calling for ambitious changes to Canberra’s zoning laws to allow for more well-located medium-density homes.

We’ve been buoyed by the incredibly positive response to the campaign, but unfortunately the ACT Government’s Interim Territory Plan doesn’t deliver the changes we’ve been asking for.

Time is running out to achieve real change before the next ACT election in 2024. That’s why we’re asking for your help to write to local members to push for the Missing Middle Canberra platform to be adopted in the final version of the new Territory Plan that will be released next year. Writing an email to your local members only takes 5 minutes, and makes a big difference.

Click on your electorate below to start an email to some of your MLAs. If you’re unsure what electorate you live in, you can find out on the ACT Legislative Assembly website.

Brindabella (Tuggeranong (except East Kambah))

Ginninderra (Belconnen (except Giralang and Kaleen))

Kurrajong (Inner North, Inner South (except Yarralumla and Deakin), East Canberra)

Murrumbidgee (Woden, Weston Creek, Molonglo Valley, Yarralumla, Deakin, East Kambah)

Yerrabi (Gungahlin, Giralang, Kaleen)

Which of my MLAs should I write to?

Each Legislative Assembly electorate elects 5 Legislative Assembly members (MLAs), so we’ve prefilled your email with the details of 3 of your local members - one from each party - who are most active on housing issues. However, if there’s a particular set of parties or members that you feel closer to, you can just write to those MLAs. You can find all their contact details on the ACT Legislative Assembly website.

It’s also worth remembering that the Labor and Greens parties are the current parties that make up the Government, and Labor and Greens members have more direct influence over the new Territory Plan. The Liberal Party, on the other hand, will be looking to hold the Government to account on housing affordability, and trying to formulate its own policies on this issue ahead of the 2024 election.

What should I write to my MLA?

Keep it simple, keep it polite, and draw on your own experiences to explain why allowing more medium-density homes and creating a more affordable and sustainable city matters to you. Personal stories are worth more than complex arguments.

To get you started, here’s a few points that you might want to touch on:

Above all, don’t be too worried about writing the perfect message: in our experience, MLAs are genuinely keen to get any engagement they can from ordinary citizens! A short email that’s only a couple of sentences is perfectly fine.

What is the Missing Middle Canberra platform?

The Missing Middle Canberra platform draws together a range of Canberra organisations to support sensible planning reform. The letter highlights Canberra’s dual housing crisis: an affordability crisis, which is exacerbated by a severe shortage of both private and social housing in our most in-demand suburbs; and a climate crisis, which is exacerbated by our zoning laws that limit medium density and so increase greenfield development and transport emissions.

We propose four key reforms to Canberra’s planning laws:

  1. Enable the development of more private, public, and community-owned low-impact housing such as townhouses by upzoning current RZ1 areas to the RZ2 standard, while allowing these new homes to be subject to the same streamlined development approval process as existing detached homes.

  2. Rejuvenate local centres by upzoning current RZ2 areas to the RZ3 standard to allow for more terrace-housing and low-rise apartment buildings. 

  3. Reform the CZ4 local centre zone to allow for more apartments above local shops by increasing the height limit to at least three storeys while reserving ground floor space for commercial use. 

  4. Enable more sustainable housing designs and reduced housing costs by reducing mandatory parking requirements to 1 car space per home across all residential zones.

Missing middle housing around Canberra