Premier Alan Carpenter and Housing and Works Minister Michelle Roberts have welcomed a Federal Government initiative to boost the number of affordable rental properties.
The $623million National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) will aim to create 50,000 new affordable rental properties for low and medium income earners across Australia over four years and up to 100,000 over the next 10 years.
Mr Carpenter welcomed Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan’s call today for Expressions of Interest in the NRAS, which is designed to keep the rents of properties in the scheme to 20 per cent below market rates.
“This initiative is about easing the pressure on low and medium income earners who are finding it tough in the current rental market,” the Premier said.
“Western Australia is experiencing a significant demand for housing and this scheme will help meet the demand for affordable rental dwellings.”
Mrs Roberts said that under the NRAS, investors who built new rental accommodation and leased it to low and moderate income earners at 20 per cent below market rents would receive an annual $6,000 rental tax incentive per dwelling for up to 10 years.
In addition, the State Government would contribute a further $2,000 per dwelling.
“This represents an investment by the Carpenter Government of up to $20million over the next four years,” the Minister said.
“The NRAS will provide significant benefits for Western Australians seeking affordable rental housing and should relieve pressure on social housing wait lists.
“The scheme will complement the State Government’s four-year, $655million investment in affordable housing, which started in 2007-08.
“This investment will boost social housing stock by more than 1,100 units, improve affordability for private renters, secure strategic landholdings for affordable residential development and provide more housing in regional areas for Government workers and for crisis accommodation.
“The NRAS can also link closely with the State Government’s Bond Assistance Loan Scheme, which provides assistance for more families and singles with entry costs into private rental accommodation.
“The scheme received a funding boost of $5.7million in 2007-08, allowing an increase in bond loan and income eligibility limits and assisting more families and singles with entry costs into private rental accommodation.”
Colin McClughan, executive officer of the Community Housing Coalition of Western Australia, welcomed the NRAS announcement.
“Community Housing WA welcomes initiatives which seek to increase the stock of affordable rental accommodation,” Mr McClughan said.
“In our view, NRAS certainly has the potential to help alleviate WA’s chronic shortage of flexible housing options for low income earners.”
People seeking general information on NRAS and the Expression of Interest document should contact the Department of Families, Communities, Housing and Indigenous Affairs NRAS Hotline on 1800 334 505. For specific information on the State Government’s role in NRAS, contact Glen Kar at the Department of Housing and Works on 9222 8182.
Premier’s office - 9222 9475
Minister for Housing and Work's office -9213 6600