National Rental Affordability Scheme 

Key elements

The Government will provide funding to increase the supply of affordable rental dwellings, reduce rental costs for low to moderate income households, and encourage large scale investment and innovative delivery of affordable housing. This scheme will help create up to 50,000 new affordable rental properties across Australia, costing $622.6 million over its first four years. The scheme will offer institutional investors and other eligible bodies annual tax incentives and/or financial support every year for a period of ten years.
  • An annual $6,000 Commonwealth incentive to construct new affordable rental properties and rent them at 80 per cent of prevailing market rents will be introduced.
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is responsible for the implementation and ongoing management of the program. The Australian Government will be working with state and territory governments, large scale investors and not-for-profit housing providers to implement the program.

Background

The National Rental Affordability Scheme is a 2007 Federal Election Commitment.

To be eligible for a property delivered under the National Rental Affordability Scheme, tenants will need to be low or moderate income earners, earning below defined income limits.

The scheme will deliver up to 50 000 new affordable rental properties across Australia over the next four years.

  • 2008-09     3,500 new dwellings
  • 2009-10     7,500 new dwellings
  • 2010-11     14,000 new dwellings
  • 2011-12     25,000 new dwellings
On 3 March 2008 the Prime Minister announced an expansion to the Scheme with a commitment that if 50,000 incentives are achieved in the first four years and if market demand from renters and investors remains strong, an additional 50,000 new incentives will be available from 2012 onwards.

Implementation

The National Rental Affordability Scheme is due to commence on 1 July 2008. The Government released a technical discussion paper in May seeking submissions and comments to assist settling the final administrative and legislative design features of the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

An annual $6,000 Commonwealth tax incentive will be delivered through the Australian Tax Office, with grants available through FaHCSIA to non-profit organisations that do not have a tax liability.

The $2,000 in direct or in kind financial support will be delivered through the state and territory governments.

Total Government Funding

$622.6 million over four years.
Content Updated: 1 June 2012